December 8, 2023

An Athens man was sentenced Thursday to more than 10 years in federal prison for hiding and possessing multiple weapons while in federal detention, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Michael Anthony Randall, 33 of Athens, pled guilty to illegally possessing a gun and hiding homemade shanks while in federal detention, violating the terms of his release, the USAO said.

Court documents said Randall was previously indicted for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon in October 2022.

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Randall was also arrested in January 2021, after he was found with a .380 pistol in Athens.

Officials said Randall had previous felony convictions in both North Carolina and Georgia, including assault with serious bodily injury and drug convictions. Additionally, Randall was previously convicted in the Middle District of Georgia for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

“The penalty is steep for prisoners caught with contraband weapons and violent repeat offenders who illegally possess guns. In this case, Michael Randall violated both and is now held accountable with additional prison time,” U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, Peter D. Leary, said in a statement. “In collaboration with our law enforcement partners, our office will seek federal prosecution against the most dangerous and repeat criminals in our communities.”

The most recent sentencing is tied back to Randall’s time in the Butts County Jail after his October 2022 arrest.


While in custody and awaiting first appearance in federal court, Randall was found with a shank, or homemade knife, while in the Butts County Jail on Nov. 8, 2022.

Two days later, officers found another shank on him before his court appearance.

On Dec. 16, 2022, officers found Randall with yet another shank inside the Butts County Jail.

“Michael Randall is the definition of a repeat offender,” said Supervisory Senior Resident Agent of FBI Atlanta’s Macon office. “The FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to keep dangerous criminals like Randall off Georgia streets.”

Randall entered a guilty plea to the charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possessing contraband while in jail on Sept. 7.

Between the charges, Randall was sentenced to serve 129 months in prison and is ineligible for parole.

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