AUGUSTA, GA: Two Richmond County men have been sentenced to federal prison for a December 2021 shootout that narrowly missed a U.S. Postal Service driver while damaging her vehicle.
Corii Arkeem Bussey, 32, and Darnell Dwight Brown, 30, both of Augusta, were sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to felony charges following the gunfight outside an Augusta convenience store, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen sentenced Bussey to 48 months in prison for Assaulting, Resisting, or Impeding a Federal Employee, and sentenced Brown to 48 months in prison for Possession of a Firearm by a User of Illegal Drugs. Judge Bowen also fined each defendant $1,500, and ordered them to serve three years of supervised release after completion of their prison terms. There is no parole in the federal system.
“It’s exceptionally fortunate that no one was wounded by this inexcusably reckless exchange of gunfire in broad daylight,” said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. “The community will be safer with these gun-carrying criminals off the streets.”
As described in court documents and testimony, Bussey and Brown encountered each other while shopping at an Augusta discount store on Dec. 9, 2021 and had what a witness described as a “nonverbal disagreement” that ended with Bussey brandishing a firearm.
A short time later, the two again encountered each other at an Augusta convenience store where they parked on either side of a U.S. Postal Service delivery truck. Each man produced a semiautomatic pistol and began firing, with bullets striking the Postal Service vehicle as the postal employee lay on the floorboard for safety. Bullets also struck Brown’s vehicle and a nearby tire store while missing each shooter, the postal carrier, and other customers at the convenience store. Investigators later recovered 18 shell casings at the site.
Both men left the scene. Richmond County Sheriff’s Office investigators later arrested Brown at the residence of a relative, while Bussey surrendered to U.S. Marshals in August 2022.
“We are grateful for the collaborative investigative work performed by our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division. “One of the top priorities of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is to protect postal employees while they are in the performance of their federal duties. The reckless behavior and poor judgement exercised by these two individuals have resulted in their sentence to serve time behind bars and they will be unable to endanger or harm any other people.”
The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, and prosecuted for the United States by Southern District of Georgia Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer A. Stanley.