Convicted Jan. 6 defendant wants to sell his guns

Credit: North Georgia News

Credit: North Georgia News

A Georgia man who was arrested in Washington, D.C., for threatening to shoot former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot has asked a federal judge for permission to sell a cache of firearms seized in his arrest.

Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr. pleaded guilty in September 2021 to making interstate threats, a felony, and was sentenced to serve more than two years in prison and three years probation following his arrest in a Washington hotel a day after the Capitol riot. His felony conviction included a ban from possessing firearms.

In a filing this week in U.S. District Court in Washington, Meredith, who has completed his prison term, asked Judge Amy Berman Jackson to release an assault rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, and more than 2,500 rounds of ammunition, including armor-piercing rounds, seized in his arrest to an Atlanta attorney who will then sell them on his behalf.

Federal prosecutors have not objected, citing Supreme Court precedent that allows a judge’s discretion to grant such a request.

“Meredith acknowledges that he can no longer possess any firearm or ammunition,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Franks wrote in a motion jointly submitted with Meredith’s attorney.

Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

The motion calls for attorney Tyler Dixon of Atlanta to take possession of the guns and ammunition and sell them. Dixon did not return a call from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution seeking comment.

The motion cited a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court case that, in cases where a defendant was banned from owning guns, judges may allow the transfer of seized firearms to a third party as long as the judge is convinced the defendant will not have access to them. The motion calls for Dixon to sell the firearms to a buyer “unknown to Meredith.”

Meredith, who attended The Lovett School, grew up in Cobb County. He was travelling to attend the Jan. 6 Trump rally in Washington but was delayed by car trouble. He arrived on the evening of Jan. 6, after the riot had occurred. He was arrested in his hotel room the following day after his mother called the FBI concerned about text messages he sent to an uncle threatening to assassinate Pelosi.

“Thinking about heading over to Pelosi (expletive) speech and putting a bullet in her noggin on Live TV,” Meredith wrote. He made a similar threat against Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Meredith was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison but was released in December. He received credit for time served in jail prior to his guilty plea. Federal inmates routinely receive time off their sentence for good behavior.

Federal authorities have seized weapons from a number of Jan. 6 defendants, including members of the Oath Keepers who authorities said stashed an arsenal of weapons just outside the Washington city limits.

In October, Americus attorney William McCall Calhoun, Jr., who faces felony charges related to the Jan. 6 riot, filed a motion requesting guns seized in his arrest to be returned, arguing they had no bearing on the charges against him since he came to Washington unarmed. The judge in that case denied the motion.