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Press Release

Foreign National Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Possession of Ammunition

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

Gulfport, Miss. – A foreign national pleaded guilty to the federal felony offense of being an illegal alien in possession of ammunition, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. Lamarca and Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives.

According to court documents, on February 24, 2021, Michael Rempel Klassen, 24, was stopped for careless driving on U.S. Highway 98 by a New August Police officer. Klassen provided the officer with a driver’s license from the State of Chihuahua, Mexico.  Klassen said he did not have a driver’s license from the U.S., and that his work visa had expired in 2017.  The officer observed a rifle on the back seat which Klassen admitted was his.  Officers conducted a probable cause search and located two firearms, a silencer, and numerous rounds of ammunition. 

The ATF was notified, and a Department of Homeland Security HSI Special Agent also joined the case regarding immigration issues.  Records revealed that Klassen was born in Canada and confirmed that he was illegally present in the United States.   

Klassen will be sentenced on December 14, 2021, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, the New Augusta Police Department, and the Perry County Sheriff’s Office.    

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stan Harris is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of the federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program.  The centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s crime reduction efforts, PSN is an evidence-based program proven effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together and develop comprehensive solutions. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Updated September 15, 2021

Firearms Offenses