Ashburn man sentenced for Cordele gun store thefts

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Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 4:34 PM EDT
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CORDELE, Ga. (WALB) - An Ashburn man who broke into two Cordele gun stores, stealing multiple firearms and selling or distributing them in the community was sentenced to prison Wednesday, according to the US Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Georgia.

Demetri Lott, 44, was sentenced to serve nine years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Leslie Gardner after previously pleading guilty to two counts of theft of a firearm from a licensed dealer.

There is no parole in the federal system.

“Our office is committed to prioritizing prosecutions of those responsible for the greatest gun violence in our communities, including those who illegally traffic in firearms,” said U.S. Attorney Peter Leary. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our local, state and federal law enforcement partners are focused on reducing violent crime in our communities, and to use every available resource at our disposal to reduce gun violence.”

“The theft of firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer and their diversion into the illegal firearms market is a crime that affects us all,” said ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Beau Kolodka. “FFL burglaries are a top priority for ATF and we are pleased that Mr. Lott has been sentenced to a significant term of incarceration for his crimes.”


Court documents say Lott broke into Wells Hardware & Supply in Cordele on Nov. 12, 2020, by accessing the store through the roof.

Police said Lott stole 11 firearms.

While the case was under investigation, Lott burglarized another gun store in Cordele, Evans Outdoors, on Jan. 2, 2021. A rifle was stolen as well as trail cameras, scopes and several boxes of ammunition.

Reports said a citizen contacted the sheriff’s office soon after the theft to report information about the stolen rifle. On Jan. 15, the sheriff’s office received another anonymous tip that helped law enforcement find Lott.

He was arrested at a residence in Cordele, hiding inside the attic crawl space.

Reports said Lott told agents he was responsible for breaking into and stealing firearms from both businesses. He also admitted to selling the stolen firearms from Wells Hardware & Supply for cash and drugs, later returning to the person’s home that same day to find that all of the firearms had been distributed to other people. Lott said he gave the Evans Outdoors rifle to an acquaintance.

Lott has multiple prior felony convictions, including convictions for aggravated battery, robbery, and burglary.

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