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Gulfport Man Sentenced for Firearms Offense

Gulfport, Miss. – A Gulfport, Mississippi man was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, 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.

According to court documents, on October 20, 2020, Biloxi Police Officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Marquise Spanks, 30, of Gulfport. A subsequent search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery two firearms, one of which was stolen. Spanks was previously convicted of felony possession of a controlled substance in 2014 and is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Spanks was taken into custody. After being advised of his Miranda Rights, Spanks admitted to previously purchasing the firearms.

The FBI and Biloxi Police Department investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Buckner prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project EJECT, an initiative by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) and Project Guardian. EJECT is a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to fighting and reducing violent crime through prosecution, prevention, re-entry and awareness. EJECT stands for “Empower Justice Expel Crime Together.” PSN is bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.