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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 21, 2021

Quitman Man Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison for Armed Robbery of Choctaw Casino

Hattiesburg, Miss. – A Quitman man was sentenced today to 192 months in federal prison for the armed robbery of a Choctaw casino, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca of the Southern District of Mississippi and Michelle Sutphin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mississippi. 

On July 9, 2020, William Christopher Belk, 33, of Quitman entered the Bok Homa Casino located on the Choctaw Indian Reservation near Sandersville, Mississippi, armed with a handgun.  Once inside, Belk pointed the handgun at a casino security officer, took several items of property from the casino officer, then fled the scene in a resort vehicle. Shortly after leaving the casino property, a Sandersville Police officer spotted the casino vehicle and attempted to arrest Belk.  Belk fired upon and injured the officer, then drove away toward Laurel, Mississippi.  Laurel police officers eventually spotted the vehicle and were able to arrest Belk on state charges including assault on a police officer.

In August 2020, a federal grand jury indicted Belk, charging him with robbery, use of a firearm during a crime of violence and theft from an Indian gaming establishment. In February 2021, Belk pled guilty to robbery and the use of a firearm during a crime of violence.  

Acting U.S. Attorney LaMarca commended the work of the Choctaw Police Department of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation who investigated the case.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin J. Payne.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated May 21, 2021