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Press Release

Meridian Man Pleads Guilty under Project EJECT to Being a Convicted Felon in Possession of Ammunition

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Mississippi
Convicted Felon Purchased High Caliber Ammunition at a Pawn Shop

Jackson, Miss. – Todrian Kwame Laphand, 27, of Meridian, pled guilty today before Chief U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III to possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Kurt Thielhorn, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

On July 10, 2019, Laphand, who was under surveillance by the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, purchased 40 rounds of .223 caliber ammunition from a pawn shop in Meridian Mississippi.  Laphand also purchased a large sheath or holster for a large semi-automatic pistol capable of firing .223 caliber ammunition.  After Laphand left the pawn shop, in the company of three other people, officers of the Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop and took Laphand into custody.

Laphand was found in possession of the ammunition he purchased, along with a firearm and the sheath that contained that firearm.  Also found in the vehicle were two other firearms and several different suspected controlled substances. Laphand has prior felony convictions for felony fleeing from a law enforcement officer, sale of marijuana and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  As a convicted felon, it is contrary to federal law for Laphand to possess any ammunition.

Laphand was indicted by a federal grand jury on November 19, 2019.  He is currently in custody and will be sentenced on May 12, 2021 by Judge Jordan.  Laphand faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and up to a $250,000.00 fine.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charles W. Kirkham.

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 February 9, 2021

Topics
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses