Felon gets 10 years in prison after shooting at repossession workers in Athens

An Athens man received the maximum prison sentence Wednesday for illegal gun possession after he shot at workers trying to repossess his car.

Ceddrick Demon Mercery, who has previous felony convictions for hit-and-run, possession of cocaine and aggravated stalking, nearly drove over workers trying to repossess his Honda Accord and then shot at them while driving away in 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia said in a news release. The 30-year-old was sentenced to 10 years in prison after previously pleading guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

“Career criminals who carry guns are a threat to the safety of our neighborhoods,” FBI of Atlanta agent Keri Farley said.

On Sept. 23, 2020, two people went to lawfully repossess the Honda located on Loblolly Road and were nearly struck by it as Mercery sped away. As he continued driving off, he rolled down his window and fired three shots at the repossession agents, according to the release. The workers took cover and were not struck by the gunfire.

Officers with Athens-Clarke County police spotted Mercery and attempted to pull him over. Authorities said he fled “at a high rate of speed” through a residential area, eventually abandoning the car and running away. Heroin and methamphetamine were found in the vehicle.

The following day, authorities said a loaded pistol was found discarded in front of an apartment building, which was along the route Mercery traveled while fleeing police. Ballistics tests confirmed the gun had been used in the shooting.

On Oct. 26, the FBI and local police tracked Mercery to an apartment complex about two miles from where the shooting occurred. Before he was arrested, Mercery was armed with a pistol and “pacing inside the apartment, voicing displeasure that the police were outside,” the release states.

Mercery was taken into custody without incident and authorities said FBI agents found a loaded pistol with an extended magazine and a laser sight inside the apartment. His phone was also inside, but it had been broken and placed in a toilet.

“Prosecuting repeat offenders who are responsible for the greatest gun violence in our communities is our office’s highest priority,” U.S. Attorney Peter Leary said. “We will continue to hold convicted felons with violent pasts accountable at the federal level when they possess, or especially use, a firearm.”