DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Darren J. LaMarca
, United States Attorney

Meridian Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of Firearms by a Convicted Felon

Jackson, Miss. – A Meridian, Mississippi man pleaded guilty today to possession of firearms by a convicted felon, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca of the Southern District of Mississippi and Special Agent in Charge Kurt H. Thielhorn of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

According to court documents, Waltravious Leeandre Watson, 31, was found in possession of nine firearms by officers of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office on February 19, 2020, during a search of his home. Watson has a prior felony conviction for burglary of a dwelling. As a convicted felon, it is contrary to federal law for Watson to possess any firearm.

Watson is scheduled to be sentenced on June 20, 2023 and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office and the ATF are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew W. Allen and Charles W. Kirkham are prosecuting the case.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

New Orleans Field Division