Gulfport Man Sentenced under Project EJECT to Nearly 4 Years in Prison for Firearms Offense | USAO-SDMS

Gulfport, Miss. – A Gulfport man was sentenced today under Project EJECT for being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm and ammunition, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca of the Southern District of Mississippi and Brad L. Byerley, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Kevin Jaquan Willis, 23, of Gulfport, was sentenced to 43 months in federal prison.   He pled guilty to the charges on February 11, 2021.

Willis was arrested on October 7, 2020, when law enforcement officers with the Gulfport Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle he was driving.   A subsequent search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of 98 grams of marijuana, a digital scale, and a Smith and Wesson M&P 15 assault style rifle.  The rifle was loaded with 24 rounds of ammunition.  Willis was taken into custody. After being advised of his Miranda Rights, Willis admitted to regularly smoking marijuana for several years. He also indicated that he smoked about an ounce of marijuana per day. Finally, Willis admitted to possessing both the marijuana and the rifle. 

This case was investigated by the DEA and the Gulfport Police Department.

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.

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