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Press Release

Alabama Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Mississippi

Jackson, Miss. – A Bellamy, Alabama man pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, announced U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

According to court documents, Willie Roger Starks, Jr., 30, was found in possession of a firearm by a Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Deputy on October 27, 2019, during a traffic stop.  Starks had a .40 caliber pistol in his car.  Starks has a prior felony conviction for Burglary of a Dwelling and was under the supervision of the Mississippi Department of Corrections at the time.  As a convicted felon it is contrary to federal law for Starks to possess any firearm.

Starks pleaded guilty to a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2) which criminalize the possession of firearms by convicted felons. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 15, 2023 and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office and the ATF are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adam T. Stuart and Charles W. Kirkham are prosecuting the case.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Updated March 16, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses