Columbus man sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty on weapons charge

Crime

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A Columbus man described as a repeat offender with a lengthy criminal history by prosecutors has been sentenced to federal prison on a weapons charge.

According to officials with the United State Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Georgia, on July 29, 2021, Maurice Toney, 47, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Clay Land to serve a 63 month federal prison sentence following his guilty plea in April on possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary said his office works tirelessly to prosecute repeat offenders like Toney. “Our office is working closely with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to prosecute the most violent and habitual felons that continually disregard the law and disrupt the community.”

Toney’s arrest and eventual guilty plea stem from an investigation in the Columbus area by the ATF 2020. According to court documents, ATF agents had Tony under surveillance because he was believed to be trafficking guns and meth.

Officials say a confidential informant bought 46 grams of meth from Toney at a food mart in Columbus. The same informant went to a Columbus-area home with Toney and bought a 20-gauge, pump-action shotgun and a .38SPL revolver from him on the same day. Following that, the informant went with Toney to another Columbus-area home and bought a semi-automatic rifle with one magazine and 15 rounds of .22LR ammunition from him.

According to officials, Toney has an extensive criminal background in Muscogee County. Officials say prior criminal actions for Toney include convictions for theft by taking, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and habitual violator.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge John Schmidt of the ATF Atlanta Field Division says his agency works to get dangerous individuals like Toney off the streets.

“Prohibited individuals in possession of firearms are a danger to our communities,” said Schmidt. “We will always work with our partners to identify and prosecute these types of people to make our citizens safer.”

Following his release, Toney will be subject to three years of supervision.

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