VALDOSTA, Ga. – A South Georgia man with an extensive criminal history is facing a maximum ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty to illegally possessing a firearm, said Peter D. Leary, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.
Jamie Dean Fountain, 31, of Valdosta, pleaded guilty to one count possession of a firearm by a convicted felon before U.S. District Judge Louis Sands on Tuesday, February 9. Fountain faces a maximum ten years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not been scheduled. There is no parole in the federal system.
On July 16, 2019, Clinch County, Georgia, Sheriff’s deputies approached Fountain’s car, which was parked in Homerville, Georgia. At the time, there was an active warrant for Fountain’s arrest, and one of the deputies knew Fountain might be in possession of a gun. When the deputies pulled behind his vehicle, Fountain pulled out a black shotgun and began to raise the weapon. Deputies drew their weapons and gave Fountain commands to place his shotgun on the roof of his car. Fountain complied and was taken into custody. Fountain has multiple prior felony convictions, to include burglary, escape, and criminal damage to property, in Clinch County, Lowndes County and Ware County Superior Courts, dating back to 2008. Because of these crimes, Fountain has served four separate prison sentences in state prisons.
“Convicted felons, especially those with lengthy criminal histories like Fountain, will face federal prosecution and the possibility of a steep federal prison sentence, without parole, for possessing a firearm,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Leary. “I want to commend the Clinch County deputies for safely bringing this defendant into custody and protecting the citizens of Clinch County.”
“The Clinch County Sheriff’s Office will continue to work with the United States Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Georgia to pursue violent criminals who cause disruption in the county. Working joint cases with other agencies and the Department of Justice benefits all citizens of Clinch County,” said Clinch County Sheriff Stephen Tinsley.
The investigation was conducted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.
The investigation was conducted by the Clinch County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McCullers. Questions can be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603 or Melissa Hodges, Public Affairs Officer (Contractor), U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (478) 765-2362.