Man enters guilty plea in Hahira illegal gun incident

Man enters guilty plea in Hahira illegal gun incident
Gavel on wooden block (Source: Gray News)

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - A convicted felon that was caught carrying a firearm during a traffic stop in Lowndes County pleaded guilty in federal court, according to Peter Leary, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.

James Richard Shivers, 32, of Valdosta, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon before U.S District Judge Louis Sands in Albany federal court. Shivers faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Leary’s office said there is no parole in the federal system.

“Convicted felons are prohibited from possessing guns, and those who do will face the possibility of federal prosecution,” said Leary. “I want to thank the Hahira Police Department for their partnership investigating federal gun cases.”

“It was great working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office on this case. The Project Safe Neighborhood program has been a great gateway to prosecute local offenders on the federal level and in the end keeping our neighborhoods safe just as the program is named. We look forward to working with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia in the future and would like to thank all those involved,” said Cpl. Todd Pitchford with the Hahira Police Department.

Leary’s office provided the following about the incident:

At midnight on April 13, 2020, a Hahira Police Department officer was on patrol when he saw a pickup truck driven by Shivers that didn’t have a license plate or temporary tag on it. The officer did a traffic stop and Shivers did not have car insurance and the vehicle registration was canceled in 2017. The officer saw an open bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey. When the officer asked if anything illegal was in the truck, Shivers said he had a firearm in the passenger side door. Shivers had previously been convicted in the Superior Court of Cook County for five counts of forgery and one count of theft by taking.

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