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Two Decatur men convicted for Chamblee carjacking, Newnan firearms thefts

Crime and public safety Decatur Metro ATL Trending

Two Decatur men convicted for Chamblee carjacking, Newnan firearms thefts

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Atlanta, GA — Antonio McCrary, 24, of Decatur, has been sentenced in the case of a carjacking at a Chamblee residence and an unrelated string of firearm thefts in Newnan. McCray will serve 13 years, six months of imprisonment, which will be followed by three years of supervised release, according to a press release.

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, during which he and others stole jewelry, electronics, and a luxury automobile.

Cortez Butler, 23, of Decatur, was sentenced on Sept. 9, 2020, to 10 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised released. He pleaded guilty to the federal offense of discharging a firearm during the March 2018 carjacking.

“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.”

In March 2018, the victim was in the kitchen of his home in Chamblee when he hears his family’s car unlock in the garage and saw the car’s lights come on. He looked into the garage and saw a man getting into the vehicle, and 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, according to the press release.

Shortly after the carjacking, video footage near a home in Decatur showed McCray and Butler arriving and exiting the stolen vehicle. Both confessed to the carjacking and four days later, the 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 over a dozen cars over a three-hour period, 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.

That afternoon, a Coweta County Sheriff’s 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 I-85. 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 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 the items stolen earlier that day, including the four firearms. Officers recovered five additional guns, most of which were also reported stolen.

“These two men brazenly stole a car from a family’s driveway and fired a gun towards the victim as they sped away,” said U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “Later, McCrary boldly continued his criminal behavior by breaking into a dozen cars and stealing multiple firearms before leading law enforcement on a dangerous high-speed chase on an interstate. Thankfully, no lives were lost during McCrary’s or Butler’s crimes as a result of the coordinated efforts of federal and local law enforcement.”

 Assistant U.S. Attorneys Annalise K. Peters and Matthew Carrico prosecuted the case. This case was investigated by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Chamblee Police Department, and the Newnan Police Department.

“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.

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