COLUMBUS, Ga. – A Columbus resident who nearly ran over arresting police officers, leading them on a short chase before crashing his car into a tree, was sentenced to federal prison for possessing a stolen firearm.
Brian Doswell, 26, of Columbus, was sentenced to serve the statutory maximum of 120 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Clay Land after he pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen firearm. There is no parole in the federal system.
“The defendant put himself, police officers and bystanders in significant danger when he attempted to outrun law enforcement—notwithstanding the fact that he was a wanted person in possession of an illegal semi-automatic weapon,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Our office, working alongside our law enforcement partners, will continue to hold criminals accountable and do what we can to decrease instances of violent crime and havoc in Columbus.”
“I am pleased with the successful prosecution of this case, and I really appreciate the dedicated work of our officers and the ATF. We will continue our partnership as we work to make Columbus a safe place,” said Chief Freddie Blackmon, Columbus Police Department.
According to court documents, Columbus Police Department (CPD) officers were patrolling the area of River Rd. and 50th St. in Columbus on Aug. 11, 2020, when they observed a vehicle driven by Doswell make an improper left turn. Officers were aware that Doswell had fled from police the day before and was involved in drug trafficking. Given the flight risk, an officer activated emergency lights and positioned his patrol car in front of the car driven by Doswell to prevent Doswell from fleeing. Additional CPD officers then approached the car. Doswell rolled up his window, drove his car forward almost striking the officers, then reversed his vehicle striking the car behind him. He then fled, and a car chase ensued. A short while later, Doswell lost control and crashed into a tree. Doswell was taken into custody. Officers spotted a 9mm pistol on the driver's side floorboard in plain view and a clear bag containing suspected drugs. A search of the vehicle uncovered a semi-automatic pistol in the arm rest and a semi-automatic rifle in the back seat. In addition, quantities of methamphetamine and other illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia including a digital scale and clear baggies were found. Doswell knew that the semi-automatic pistol in his possession was stolen.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Columbus Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Williams prosecuted the case for the Government.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Middle District of Georgia