More than a dozen people across the Southern District of Georgia, including one man from Douglas, have been indicted for felony crimes, including federal firearms violations, during an unprecedented virtual grand jury session necessitated by COVID-19 precautions.
In addition to firearms charges, the 13 indictments span a range of federal charges including drug trafficking and immigration violations, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Most of the indictments target previously convicted felons, several of whom are members of criminal street gangs, and some of the defendants were on state parole or probation at the time of their indictment.
All of the cases are being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives (ATF) as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Guardian, in coordination with multiple local law enforcement agencies across the Southern District – many of them in smaller communities in the district.
The charges carry penalties of up to life in federal prison.
“A hallmark of Project Guardian is the cooperative relationship between our office and the ATF to protect our communities by identifying and removing gun criminals,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “By working with state prosecutors through our Prosecutor to Prosecutor (P3) network in bringing these cases to federal court, we ensure meaningful sentences that provide long-term safety on our streets.”
Those named in the federal indictments include:
- Cedric Lee Ramsey, 28, of Brunswick, Ga., charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, Oxycodone, Alprazolam, Cocaine and Methamphetamine; Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime. Brunswick Police officers responding to a report of a domestic disturbance in May 2019 found Ramsey sitting in a vehicle outside his residence, and a subsequent search discovered large amounts of drugs along with an AR-15 rifle with a 45-round magazine, an AK-47 rifle with a 30-round magazine, and a .40-caliber handgun, all fully loaded. Ramsey previously has been convicted of felonies including armed robbery and firearms charges.
- Demetrius Brown, a/k/a “Jersey,” 42, of Douglas, Ga., charged with Distribution of Methamphetamine; Possession with Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine; Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Offense. Brown previously has been convicted of felonies including assault on a law enforcement officer and drug distribution on school property.
- Marvin Lowe, 43, of Savannah, charged with three counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Synthetic Cannabinoid; Possession with Intent to Distribute Synthetic Cathinone; Possession of Cocaine; Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.
- Shamall Green, 34, of Hilton Head, S.C., charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Heroin; Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person; Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime; and Possession of Counterfeit Currency. Green previously was convicted of felony drug possession.
- Robert Triveil Turner, a/k/a “Veil,” a/k/a “V,” 40, of Swainsboro, Ga., charged with Distribution of Methamphetamine; Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine; and Transfer of a Firearm to a Prohibited Person;
- Kevin Laron Howard, 64, of Augusta, charged with Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute; Possession of a Firearm During a Drug Trafficking Crime; and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Previously convicted of human trafficking, Howard was arrested while on state parole for a 1992 armed robbery conviction and currently is incarcerated in Wheeler State Prison.
- Khari Courtney Osborne, 26, of Hephzibah, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. An admitted member of the Gangster Disciples criminal street gang, Osborne was on state probation for a prior felony conviction at the time of his arrest.
- Silvano Marroquin-Bravo, 49, of Savannah, charged with Possession of a Firearm by an Illegal Alien and Reentry after Removal/Deportation. A citizen of Mexico, Marroquin-Bravo has been deported from the United States three previous times and was arrested in Garden City, Ga., after a traffic stop in March 2020.
- Devonte Lamar Brown, 27, of Augusta, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Brown has multiple prior convictions for firearms-related felonies.
- Jamol Marquise Cuyler, 32, of Hephzibah, Ga., charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Cuyler previously was convicted of a firearms-related felony.
- Okoye West, 23, of Augusta, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. West previously was convicted of firearms-related charges.
- David McCain III, 33, of Hephzibah, Ga., charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
- Pernell D. Scott, 32, of Hephzibah, Ga., charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
Additional defendants charged with gun crimes were indicted under seal during the virtual session of the grand jury. Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
“During these unprecedented times, ATF remains vigilant in removing violent offenders from our communities,” said Beau Kolodka, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the ATF. “As a result of our partnerships with state and local law enforcement in the Southern District of Georgia, and the innovative methods the U.S. Attorney's Office employed, Project Guardian is being successfully carried out.”
The cases are investigated under Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws, and the Prosecutor to Prosecutor (P3) program, which provides collaboration between federal and state prosecutors to determine the most appropriate venue for prosecuting crimes.
In addition to the ATF, agencies involved in investigation of the cases include Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, the Brunswick Police Department, the Douglas-Coffee County Drug Unit, the Savannah Police Department, the Twin City Police Department, the Garden City Police Department, and the Pooler Police Department.
The cases are being investigated for the United States by Southern District U.S. Attorney’s Office Assistant U.S. Attorneys including Project Guardian Coordinator Hank Syms; Deputy Criminal Division Director Patricia G. Rhodes; Josh Bearden; Alejandro V. Pascual IV; Steven H. Lee; and John P. Harper III.
- Texas family sentenced for scheme to obtain multiple Masters Tournament tickets for resale
- Liberty County man sentenced to federal prison for enticing a child for sexual activity
- Hazlehurst pharmacy, pharmacist to pay $2.1 million in federal civil suit
- Drug traffickers plead guilty to distributing crystal meth in South Georgia, including Coffee County