Project Ceasefire Keeps Felon Off the Street till 2030 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/11/06

Project Ceasefire Keeps Felon Off the Street till 2030

A team effort between Savannah-Chatham police, the US Attorney's Office, and the ATF is taking a violent offender off the streets. It's all part of Project Ceasefire, a crackdown on career criminals with a history of three or more violent crimes or drug trafficking offenses.

A federal jury convicted Jerry Orenthal Green in October after he tried to rob someone at the Sey Hey Lounge in Savannah in March. But he's actually been arrested 13 times since 1991. And thanks to Project Ceasefire, you won't be seeing him on the streets for a long time.

Green is spending the next 24 years in prison. He has a long history of criminal charges including armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a felon, fleeing a police officer, and drug possession. But after his latest conviction, Project Ceasefire will keep it from happening again.

Sey Hey Lounge owner Clarence Maxwell told us, "As far as I'm concerned, everybody like that should be sent away forever."

Maxwell wasn't working that night, but in more than 30 years of business in Savannah, he's had run-ins with criminals, including two men who tried to rob him a year and a half ago.

"One of them hit me on top of the head with a pistol," Maxwell recalled. "I had one of my cleanup men here and I yelled to him, I said, 'James, shoot him!' and when I said that, they ran out the back door.

"These people who go around robbing people, they should all be sent away forever," he added.

His customers and fellow business owners, who call this community home, agree. "I think he should be put away," said customer Paul Walker. "He should be given the right justice."

Neighbor and developer John Deadrick added, "The best thing we can do is make sure they have no access to weapons any more and if that means keeping them off the street, then that's probably the best thing we can do the safest thing we can do for everyone else."

Police say most of all, Green's arrest through Project Ceasefire sends a message.

"The US Attorney's Office, the ATF and the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department are not going to tolerate this type of behavior in our community," said Lt. Mike Wilkins. "And we're going to do what we can to lock you up and make sure you don't harm the citizens of this community."

Green won't be getting out of prison until early 2030. And even then, he'll be under five years of supervised release.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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