Jackson Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison Under Project EJECT for Illegally Possessing and Discharging a Firearm During Waffle House Robbery
Jackson, Miss. – Nicholas Thames, 22, of Jackson, was sentenced yesterday by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Daniel P. Jordan III to 120 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for possessing a firearm after he had been previously convicted of felony crimes, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Michelle A. Sutphin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Thames was also ordered to pay a $1,500 fine.
“Project EJECT was created to expel this exact type of criminal from our communities – those who violently threaten and terrorize our fellow citizens. Because of the work by the Jackson Police Department and the FBI, this criminal was quickly apprehend and prosecuted before he was able to harm anyone else. For at least the next decade, this criminal will not be able to hurt any more innocent civilians,” said U.S. Attorney Hurst.
On October 27, 2017, Thames entered a Waffle House restaurant on Beasley Road in Jackson, armed with a .45 caliber handgun. Thames covered his face with a red bandana in an attempt to conceal his identity. However, Thames was recognized by several witnesses because he had eaten at the restaurant just an hour earlier. Thames fired one shot from his pistol into the ceiling of the business, then pointed the gun at an employee, demanding money. The employee emptied the register, giving the contents to Thames. After receiving the cash, Thames fled on foot. In all, Thames got away with approximately $400.00.
Officers with the Jackson Police Department responded to the scene immediately. An officer spotted Thames walking in an apartment complex wearing clothing that matched the description given by the Waffle House employees. Thames was arrested and officers found a large sum of money and a black handgun on his person. Officers also found several other items that the defendant admitted taking from a vehicle that he had broken into in the area.
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.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charles W. Kirkham.