For Immediate Release
Gulfport Man Sentenced for Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Gulfport, Miss. – Tony D. Crawford, age 24, of Gulfport, Mississippi, was sentenced on Thursday, March 8, 2018, to a term of 105 months (8 and ¾ years) in federal prison, followed by 3 years supervised release being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge Dana Nichols with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Crawford also was sentenced to pay a $5,000.00 fine. Crawford was sentenced by U.S. District Sul Ozerden, and had been convicted after pleading guilty on April 20, 2017, before Judge Ozerden in Gulfport.
During his earlier guilty plea, Crawford admitted to possessing a Ruger 9 mm pistol, a Drago, 7.62 caliber pistol, a Taurus 9 mm pistol, and a Hi-Point .45 caliber rifle. He admitted that he unlawfully possessed at least some of the firearms during periods of time that he was conducting narcotics trafficking. Crawford previously had been convicted of Robbery on October 31, 2012 in the Circuit Court of Sunflower County, and of Possession of a Controlled Substance on December 2, 2013, in the Circuit Court of Harrison County.
Crawford had purchased three of the firearms through straw purchasers, that is people without felony criminal records who purchased one or more firearms from a legal firearms dealer and then resold to Crawford. One of those straw purchasers, Isaac Q. Coleman, pled guilty to knowingly making a false statement in connection with the purchase of a firearm. Following his guilty plea and conviction, Coleman was sentenced by Judge Ozerden, on December 14, 2017, to a term of 7 months in federal prison and a term of 5 months home confinement, followed by 2 years supervised release, in addition to a $3,500.00 fine.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, as well as by the City of Biloxi, City of D’Iberville, City of Gulfport and City of Pass Christian Police Departments. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stan Harris.