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Justice News

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

Friday, February 9, 2018

Pickens Man Who Stole Guns from Firearms Dealer Pleads Guilty To Illegally Possessing A Firearm


Jackson, Miss. – Estelle Cook, Jr., 28, of Pickens, pled guilty today before United States District Judge Carlton Reeves, to 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).

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 Cook, Hughes, Darnell Branch, and Frederick Russell for their unlawful conspiracy to possess and sell stolen firearms. Frederick Russell pled guilty on January 10, 2018, to the conspiracy charge and will be sentenced by Judge Reeves on March 29, 2018.

Corey Hughes is scheduled to plead guilty on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, before Judge Reeves to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Darnell Branch is scheduled for trial on March 5, 2018, before Judge Reeves.

Estelle Cook, Jr. will be sentenced by Judge Reeves on May 15, 2018, in Jackson. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Case.

The public is reminded that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Updated February 9, 2018