DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Mississippi

For Immediate Release

Monday, March 22, 2021
Darren J. LaMarca
, United States Attorney

Bentonia Man Sentenced to 15 Months for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Convicted Felon Admitted to Possessing Firearms for Hunting

Jackson, Miss. – Christopher Michael Cockrell, 45, of Bentonia, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Carlton W. Reeves to 15 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Kurt Thielhorn, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Cockrell was also ordered to pay a $1,500.00 fine.  Judge Reeves imposed an additional 10-month prison sentence due to Cockrell’s violation of the terms of supervised release.

On September 2, 2020, the United States Probation Office discovered that Cockrell had possession of cell phone which contained a video showing a firearm in a hunting blind.  Cockrell had been previously convicted in federal court in the Western District of Missouri for a Human Trafficking Offense.  After having served a lengthy prison sentence, Cockrell was released from prison and came to live in Mississippi.  Cockrell was then placed under the supervision of the United States Probation Office in the Southern District of Mississippi.

The United States Probation Office informed the ATF that they believed there was evidence that Cockrell had possessed a firearm.  As a convicted felon it is against federal law for the Cockrell to possess a firearm.  ATF agents investigated, and Cockrell eventually admitted that he had possessed firearms for hunting purposes.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Bert Carraway and Charles W. Kirkham.


New Orleans Field Division