11/14/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/14/2022 11:40
ATHENS, Ga. - An Athens resident with a violent criminal history who shot at two people attempting to repossess a vehicle and then led police on a high-speed chase was sentenced to the maximum prison term allowed under federal guidelines for illegally possessing a firearm.
Ceddrick Demon Mercery aka Stunt, 30, of Athens, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 120 months in prison by U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal on Nov. 9 after he previously pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. There is no parole in the federal system.
"Prosecuting repeat offenders who are responsible for the greatest gun violence in our communities is our office's highest priority," said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. "Working with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to hold convicted felons with violent pasts accountable at the federal level when they possess, or especially use, a firearm."
"Career criminals who carry guns are a threat to the safety of our neighborhoods," said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. "This case is another example of how the FBI and our law enforcement partners in the Project Safe Neighborhoods program are dedicated to keeping the sanctity and security of our communities a priority."
"Ceddrick Mercery is a career violent offender who is now removed from the streets of Athens and our community is safer for it," said Chief Jerry Saulters, Athens-Clarke County Police Department. "I want to thank the U.S. Attorney's Office and FBI for their assistance in this case. It is important that we continue to work with our state and federal partners to make Athens safe."
According to court documents, two individuals seeking to lawfully repossess a Honda Accord located on Loblolly Road in Athens on Sept. 23, 2020, were nearly struck by the same vehicle as Mercery sped away from them driving the car. Mercery then drove toward Freeman Drive, made a wide right turn, stopped, rolled down the window and fired three shots at the individuals, who took cover from the gunshots and were not struck. An Athens-Clarke County Police Department (ACCPD) officer spotted the Honda Accord being driven by Mercery on Commerce Road and attempted to pull him over. Mercery fled at a high rate of speed through a residential complex and then abandoned the car, running away. Officers found heroin and methamphetamine in the vehicle. The following day, a loaded .40 caliber pistol was found discarded in front of an apartment building on College Avenue, which was along the route that Mercery had driven while fleeing apprehension. Ballistics tests confirmed this gun had been used in the shooting
FBI and ACCPD tracked Mercery to an apartment complex on Berlin Street and took him into custody on Oct. 26. Prior to his arrest, Mercery was armed with a pistol and was pacing inside the apartment, voicing displeasure that the police were outside the apartment. Mercery was taken into custody without incident. Agents found a loaded Glock .40 caliber pistol with an extended magazine and a laser sight inside the apartment. Mercery's cell phone was also located inside the apartment; it had been broken and placed in a toilet. Mercery has a lengthy criminal history which prohibits him from possessing a firearm, including prior felony convictions for hit and run, possession of cocaine and aggravated stalking.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results.
The case was investigated by the FBI Athens Middle Georgia Safe Streets Gang Task Force, Northeast Georgia Regional Drug Task Force and the Athens-Clarke County Police Department Gang Unit.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Morrison prosecuted the case.