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Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Darren J. LaMarca
, United States Attorney

Foreign National Sentenced for Unlawful Possession of Ammunition

Hattiesburg, Miss. – A foreign national who had been living in Texas was sentenced to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for being an illegal alien in possession of ammunition, announced U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). 

According to court documents, Michael Rempel Klassen, 24, was driving a vehicle which was stopped on February 24, 2021, by a New Augusta Police officer for careless driving on U.S. Highway 98.  The officer requested a driver’s license and Klassen provided a driver’s license from the State of Chihuahua, Mexico.  Klassen said he did not have a driver’s license from the U.S., that his work visa had expired in 2017, and that he had not renewed the work visa. 

Officers  located two firearms, a silencer and numerous rounds of ammunition in Klassen’s vehicle.  The ATF was notified, and a Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent also joined the case regarding immigration issues.  Records showed that Klassen was born in Canada and confirmed that he was illegally present at the time of his 2021 arrest in Perry County. 

Upon his release from prison, Klassen may face U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement removal proceedings. If removed from the U.S. following his prison sentence, Klassen could face additional penalties if he were to unlawfully return, as well as further prosecution. 

Klassen pled guilty on September 10, 2021. 

The case was investigated by the ATF, HSI, the New Augusta Police Department, and the Perry County Sheriff’s Office.  

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stan Harris prosecuted the case as part of the federal, state and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program.  The centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s crime reduction efforts, PSN is an evidence-based program proven effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together and develop comprehensive solutions. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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