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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Pickens Man Involved in Theft of Guns from Firearms Dealer and Illegal Sale of Firearms Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Firearm

Jackson, Miss. – Estelle Cook, Jr., 28, of Pickens, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves to 10 years in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge Dana Nichols of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Cook was also ordered to pay nearly $16,000 in restitution to the gun store victim in this case.

Around 2:30 a.m. on July 28, 2014, Estelle Cook and co-defendant Corey Hughes tore a hole in the side of Central Mississippi Firearms, a gun store in Kosciusko, Mississippi, and stole 41 guns. Cook, Hughes, and others sold at least a dozen of the stolen firearms in Durant and Lexington, Mississippi. Cook led the sale of at least ten of the stolen guns to seven different buyers at a home in Durant.  He sold those guns for cash, pocketing $100 per gun.

On October 3, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Estelle Cook, Corey Hughes, Darnell Branch, and Frederick Russell for their unlawful conspiracy to possess and sell stolen firearms. All four defendants pled guilty.

At Cook’s sentencing hearing yesterday, Judge Reeves imposed the maximum sentence allowed under the law – 10 years in prison. He also ordered Cook to reimburse the gun store victim for its nearly $16,000 in losses.

Co-defendant Frederick Russell is scheduled to be sentenced on June 5, 2018. He faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Co-defendants Corey Hughes and Darnell Branch are scheduled to be sentenced on June 11, 2018. Hughes faces maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Branch faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Jackson Police Department.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Updated June 1, 2018