Gulfport Man Pleads Guilty to Firearms Offense under Project EJECT
Gulfport, Mississippi – Marquise Deshun Spanks, 30, of Gulfport, pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden to being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca and Michele Sutphin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) in Mississippi.
On October 20, 2020, Biloxi police officers stopped a vehicle being driven by Spanks and discovered he possessed two firearms in the vehicle, one of which was reported stolen. Spanks was previously convicted of a felony drug offense.
On November 4, 2020, a federal grand jury indicted Spanks for possessing the firearms after having been convicted of a felony. He will be sentenced by Judge Ozerden on May 20, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the offense. If the Court determines that Spanks is an Armed Career Criminal, he will face a maximum penalty of life in prison.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Biloxi Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Buckner.
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.