A Georgia man will spend the next 15 years behind bars for unlawful possession of firearms.
State and federal investigators arrested 43-year-old Frankie Shearry, Jr., who’s been described by law enforcement as a “career criminal,” after a narcotics probe at the suspect’s barbershop in Valdosta.
When agents arrived on the scene, they found several semiautomatic pistols that Shearry admitted belonged to him.
“It is unwise for a convicted felon to unlawfully own a gun, with armed career criminals facing even lengthier federal sentences for possessing firearms,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary.
“Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are helping us hold repeat and violent offenders accountable for their continued criminal activities,” continued Leary.
Along with his felony conviction, Shearry has four priors for various drug distribution charges.
Officers say Shearry acknowledge his status as a prohibited person but nonetheless obtained the firearms anyways.
“This sentence makes it very clear that criminals who repeatedly break the law and continue to possess illegal firearms, will be held accountable with lengthy prison terms,” said Philip Wislar, Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta.
Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk added, “This is another great example of the agencies working together to take another armed career criminal off the streets.”
It’s worth noting that it didn’t require any additional gun-control laws to put this convicted drug dealer behind bars. We didn’t need to ban homemade guns or outlaw certain gun parts or criminalize private transfers to nab this guy. Existing federal law was enough!
Combine the laws already on the books with a helpful tip from the public, coordinate police work across several agencies and a determined prosecutor who does not believe in handling repeat offenders with kid gloves (“there is no parole in the federal system” as Leary’s office made clear to mention in the press release) and we have a recipe for success when it comes to reducing crime and violence.
Too bad we don’t see more of this around the country. In fact, a recent article in the LA Times lamented the lack of engagement on this front in certain states, “California has the toughest gun laws in the U.S. That’s irrelevant if they’re not enforced.”