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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 5, 2020

Federal Jury Finds Jackson Man Guilty of Illegally Possessing Firearm as a Convicted Felon

Jackson, Miss. – Maurice Dent, 34, of Jackson, was found guilty Thursday, October 1, 2020, of possessing a illegally possessing a firearm after having previously been convicted of a felony crime, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Kurt Thielhorn, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for Jackson.  The jury returned the verdict following a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate in Jackson.

On January 27, 2016, a Jackson police officer attempted to stop a car driven by Dent.  Refusing to pull over, Dent led police on a short pursuit through Jackson before losing control and coming to a stop on Sonny Guy Golf Course.  Dent got out of the car, threw a Glock handgun onto the golf course, and ran about twenty feet before he was apprehended.  It was then determined that Dent had been convicted previously of multiple auto burglaries.

Dent will be sentenced on January 8, 2021, at 9:30 A.M. by Judge Wingate.  He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

This case was investigated by the Jackson Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Dave Fulcher, Lynn Murray, and Bert Carraway.

This case is part of Project EJECT, an initiative by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) and Project Guardian. EJECT is a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to fighting and reducing violent crime through prosecution, prevention, re-entry and awareness.  EJECT stands for “Empower Justice Expel Crime Together.” PSN is bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.

Updated October 5, 2020