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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Mississippi
Darren J. LaMarca, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Alabama Man Sentenced to 21 Months in Prison for Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon

JACKSON, Miss. – A Bellamy, Alabama, man was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Acting Special Agent in Charge Anthony Spotswood of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

According to court documents, Willie Roger Starks Jr., 30, was found in possession of a firearm by a Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Deputy on October 27, 2019, during a traffic stop. Starks had a .40 caliber pistol in his car. Starks has a prior felony conviction for burglary of a dwelling and was under the supervision of the Mississippi Department of Corrections at the time. As a convicted felon it is contrary to federal law for Starks to possess any firearm.

Starks was indicted by a federal grand jury and pled guilty on March 14, 2023, to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

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

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adam T. Stuart and Charles W. Kirkham prosecuted 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.


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