Curtavious Bonner, 30, of Thomson, has been sentenced to serve 48 months in federal prison in connection his being in possession of a firearm when arrested by Thomson Police in 2019.

After entering a plea agreement to the charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, Bonner was sentenced in federal court Sept. 30. In addition to the four years in prison, he will serve three years of supervised release, pay a fine of $1,500, and a $100 special assessment. The charges come from July 17, 2019, when police received a complaint about a block party at a home in the 600 block of Ellington Avenue.

“I took some guys over there and we did a small sting operation,” then Police Chief Anson Evans said following the original incident.

The chief said there were people and two vehicles in the backyard of the home, when he and officers arrived.

“We questioned people and checked IDs.”

Bonner was inside one of the vehicles.

“During questioning, he got nervous and took off running,” Evans said.

A short foot chase ensued, and Bonner was taken into custody. At the time of the arrest, Evans said Bonner was a convicted felon and in possession of possessed two weapons and drugs. Bonner was booked into the McDuffie County Jail and charged with Bonner has been charged with possession of schedule I or II controlled substance with the intent to distribute, obstructing law enforcement officers, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm or knife during commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies, theft by receiving stolen property and possession and use of drug-related objects.

His bond was set at $57,000. He was prosecuted on the firearm possession charge through the federal court system. When convicted and sentenced in federal court, there is no allowance for early release.

According to a statement issued from the prosecutor’s office in Augusta, “In the past three years, nearly 700 defendants have been federally charged in the Southern District of Georgia for illegal firearms offenses – most often for possessing a firearm after conviction for a previous felony. That charge carries a statutory penalty upon conviction of up to 10 years in prison, and there is no parole in the federal system.”

Under federal law, it is illegal for an individual to possess a firearm if he or she falls into one of nine prohibited categories including being a felon; illegal alien; or unlawful user of a controlled substance. Further, it is unlawful to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense or violent crime. It is also illegal to purchase – or even to attempt to purchase – firearms if the buyer is a prohibited person or illegally purchasing a firearm on behalf of others. Lying on ATF Form 4473, which is used to lawfully purchase a firearm, also is a federal offense.