Georgia man pleads guilty to stealing 5 rifles from Walmart, court officials say

ALBANY, Ga. — A Georgia man is pleading guilty to stealing rifles from a local Walmart and selling them for cash and drugs.

U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary said 31-year-old Brandon Michael Hatfield of Americus attempted to steal a Rossi, 22LR caliber rifle from a Walmart on Nov. 18 but was stopped by employees before he could leave the store.

According to the investigation, Hatfield stole five rifles on five different occasions from the store between Nov. 1 and Nov. 6. Hatfield admitted that he stole the firearms and traded them for money and drugs.

“The defendant stole several rifles in a matter of weeks, flipping them quickly for cash and drugs and thereby increasing the number of stolen firearms on the streets of Americus,” Leary said. “Law enforcement at every level is working to reduce the number of firearms in the hands of criminals in an effort to improve the safety within every community across the Middle District of Georgia.”

Leary said Hatfield had previously been convicted of several felonies, including dealing methamphetamine, escape and residential entry in Indiana.

Hatfield faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a maximum fine of $250,000. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 7.





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