Lamar sheriff’s investigators broke a firearms sales case that sent a Griffin ex-con to federal prison for over 17 years after he was found guilty in U.S. District Court in Macon.********************NOTICE:This story and photo(s) are under copyright. They may not be republished or disseminated in any form or format – including social media – without explicit permission.*********************Ronnie Lee Hughes, 39, of 1106 East College St. was found guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on July 17. He was sentenced Nov. 20 to 210 months in federal prison. There is no parole in the federal system.Prosecutors noted Hughes had eight prior convictions and alleged he was running an underground illegal firearms sales operation from his home.His previous convictions were in Upson, Laurens, Pike and Monroe counties beginning in 1999. They included four convictions for entering an auto, three for burglary and one for theft by taking. The last was in Monroe in December 2008 for burglary.A confidential informant informed Lamar deputies Hughes was selling guns. Investigators used the informant to set up a meeting with Hughes at a location on Fellowship Drive for the purchase of firearms on Aug. 31, 2016. In one recorded conversation, Hughes told the informant the buyer ‘better not be a cop’ because he was a convicted felon and it was illegal for him to sell guns.At the meet, investigator Jeremy Haire arrested Hughes for possession of firearms by a convicted felon and criminal attempt to sell firearms. Four weapons – two Mac-11s, a Kel-Tec .32 pistol and a Remington rifle – were seized as was a quantity of ammunition.The case was turned over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorneys William Keyes and Paul McCommon.
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