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Press Release

Meridian Man Sentenced to Over Six Years in Prison for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

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

Jackson, Miss.  – A Meridian, Mississippi man was sentenced to 77 months in prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca of the Southern District of Mississippi and Special Agent in Charge Kurt H. Thielhorn of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

According to court documents, Billy Ray Craven, 55, was found in possession of a firearm in his vehicle by officers of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office on August 6, 2019 during a traffic stop.  Craven was stopped in connection with a narcotics investigation. 

Craven was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 23, 2020 and he pled guilty on August 10, 2022 to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office and the ATF are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles W. Kirkham prosecuted the case.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Updated March 22, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses