FBI Atlanta
Public Affairs Specialist Kevin Rowson
(770) 216-3331
October 29, 2020

FBI Announces Results of Operation Phoenix

ATLANTA—FBI Special Agent in Charge Chris Hacker, Interim Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant, and U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak announce that twelve of Atlanta’s most violent offenders are being charged as a result of Operation Phoenix, a sustained and coordinated law enforcement initiative to fight violent crime in the City of Atlanta.

Operation Phoenix began on August 18, 2020 in an effort to identify, investigate, and prosecute those individuals deemed the most dangerous to the citizens of this city. Federal law enforcement agencies worked in conjunction with local and state law enforcement officials to identify offenders.

The following twelve subjects are only the first of hopefully many arrests as we will continue to work together for the benefit of the City of Atlanta and its citizens:

  • Wayne Christopher Alford, 23, in state custody pending federal charges
  • Ronald Patrick Banks, 41, Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon
  • Kenneth Xavier Copeland, 29, in state custody pending federal charges
  • Kareem Deandre Durham, 26, Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon
  • Jaree Jalon Jackson, 24, Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon
  • Marvell Larvett Jackson, 35, in state custody pending federal charges
  • Tenquarius Trenard Mender, 23, in state custody pending federal charges
  • Laderrious Sanquentez Broughton, 29, Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon
  • Demario Montrez Leath, 38, pending federal charges, not in custody
  • Ricardo Haro, 19, Simple Battery against a Police Officer (state charge)
  • Randall Eddie Mellon, 33, Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon
  • Jamal James Nicholl, 31, Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon, not in custody

Under federal law, it is illegal to possess a firearm if you fall into one of nine prohibited categories including being a felon, illegal alien, or unlawful user of a controlled substance. Further, it is unlawful to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense or violent crime. It is also illegal to purchase – or even to attempt to illegally purchase—firearms if the buyer is a prohibited person or illegally purchasing a firearm on behalf of others.

Law enforcement agencies who participated in Operation Phoenix include FBI Atlanta and the Safe Streets Gang Task Force, the Atlanta Police Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Georgia, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, ATF Atlanta, DEA Atlanta, and the U.S. Secret Service.