WAYCROSS, Ga. -

A 33-year-old Waycross man was sentenced last week to 17 and a half years in prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

Evidence presented during Dereck Brown's guilty plea and sentencing hearings revealed that in October 2012, a search warrant was conducted at Brown's home, which resulted in the discovery of a Lorcin 9mm pistol, crack cocaine, marijuana and a significant amount of cash. At the time, Brown was prohibited from possessing the firearm and qualified as an armed career criminal as a result of four prior felony convictions involving cocaine trafficking and the obstruction of law enforcement officers.

"The United States Attorney's Office must, and will, continue to aggressively prosecute those who endanger the safety of our communities," U.S. Attorney Edward Tarver said. "Successful investigations like these are the result of cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies."

Brown's case resulted from a joint investigation by ATF and the Waycross Police Department.