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Decatur man sentenced in Newnan gun thefts

  • By Clay Neely
  • |
  • Apr. 12, 2022 - 1:28 PM

Decatur man sentenced in Newnan gun thefts

The Newnan Times-Herald

A man suspected in a string of firearm thefts in Newnan from 2020, along with a Chamblee carjacking, has been sentenced.

Antonio McCrary, 24, of Decatur, Georgia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Steven D. Grimberg to 13 years, six months of imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

McCrary pleaded guilty to the federal crimes of theft of firearms and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. The court also considered the Chamblee carjacking in imposing the sentence.

Additionally, Cortez Butler, 23, of Decatur, admitted to committing the carjacking with Butler and was sentenced on Sept. 9, 2020, to 10 years in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

He pleaded guilty to the federal offense of discharging a firearm during the March 2018 carjacking.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Annalise K. Peters and Matthew Carrico prosecuted the case.

In March 2018, the victim was in the kitchen of his home in Chamblee when he heard his family’s car unlock in the garage and saw the car’s lights come on. The victim looked into the garage and saw a man getting into the car, and then ran outside as someone backed the car out of the garage. The victim jumped on the hood of the car but fell off when he heard a gunshot.

Shortly after the carjacking, video footage near a house in Decatur, Georgia, showed Butler and McCrary arriving and exiting the stolen car. Butler and McCrary later confessed to the carjacking. Four days later, the stolen car was recovered from a third party during a traffic stop in Atlanta.

In January 2020, McCrary and another man drove around Newnan in a different stolen vehicle. They broke into more than a dozen cars during a three-hour crime spree and stole cash, electronics and four firearms. Several of the break-ins were caught on surveillance cameras, allowing Newnan Police to place a “be on the lookout” or “BOLO” for the stolen car.

Later that afternoon, a Coweta County Deputy spotted the car and attempted a traffic stop. McCrary, who was driving, led officers on a high-speed chase driving over 130 miles per hour on Interstate 85 and recklessly cut in and out of traffic.

McCrary eventually exited the highway, ran multiple red lights and stop signs, and caused another car to run off the road and hit a tree. The chase finally ended when McCrary lost control of the car, ran off the road and landed sideways in a ditch.

McCrary and his accomplice were taken to the hospital and, once cleared, booked on state charges. Newnan Police recovered all of the items stolen earlier that day, including the four firearms. Officers recovered five additional guns, most of which were also recently reported stolen.

McCrary was charged in a federal indictment with the March 2018 carjacking, discharging a firearm during the carjacking, the January 2020 theft of firearms, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. McCrary had previously pled guilty in a state case to a home burglary in Cumming, Georgia, during which he and others stole jewelry, electronics and a luxury automobile.

“The sentencing of McCrary and Cortez to substantial prison time illustrates the FBI’s commitment to working with its law enforcement partners to protect our citizens against such violent offenders,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, Philip Wislar. “This sentencing sends a message to those contemplating such brazen and selfish criminal acts that they will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The public is now safer with McCrary and Cortez behind bars.”

“The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is committed to investigating crimes committed against Internal Revenue Service employees,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. “We appreciate the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the other law enforcement agencies involved for their partnership and investigative efforts.”

“We appreciate the collaborative efforts by all agencies in resolving this case and bringing closure to the victims and others involved during this investigation,” said Chief Brent Blankenship, Newnan Police Department.