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Press Release

Newton Man Sentenced to Ten Years in Federal Prison for Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon

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

Jackson, Miss. -  A Newton man was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, announced 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, William Eric Chapman, 41, was found in possession of a firearm by officers of the Meridian Police Department on January 30, 2020, during an investigation into an alleged assault.  Chapman had a .556 caliber rifle and a sawed-off shotgun in his motel room.  Chapman has several prior felony convictions.  As a convicted felon, it is contrary to federal law for Chapman to possess any firearm.

Chapman pled guilty on May 31, 2022 to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

The Meridian Police Department and the ATF investigated 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 September 1, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses