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Picayune man sentenced to eight years in federal prison

Picayune resident Dewayne Yates, 28, was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm Thursday.

Yates pleaded guilty in August and faced a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to a press release from the United States Department of Justice Southern District of Mississippi.

Judge Henry Wingate cited Yates’ “prior criminal history and propensity for violence” in deciding on a sentence that included more years than the sentencing guidelines, according to the release.

Yates’ eight year sentence will be followed by three years of supervised released and he must pay a $1,500 fine.

On March 31, 2017, during an administrative checkpoint in Jackson, Miss., Yates was found to be in possession of a firearm, the release states.

Yates previous felony conviction was for felonious aggravated assault with a gun in Hinds County, for which he was sentenced to 20 years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections with ten years suspended, the release states. The date of that prior conviction was not listed in the release.

Assistant United States Attorney Andrew W. Eichner prosecuted the case and the Jackson Police Department worked with the F.B.I. on the investigation.

According to previous coverage by the Item, Yates was arrested by the Picayune Police Department in Jan. 2019 for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.

During a safety checkpoint on Highway 11, Picayune officers detected the smell of marijuana while they were speaking with Yates on Jan. 15, according to the previous coverage. The officers searched Yates’ vehicle and found bags that appeared to contain marijuana, bags that contained Xanax, a digital scale, a grinder and a hand rolled cigarette that was believed to contain marijuana, according to previous coverage.