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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
Friday, September 23, 2022

Louisiana Man Pleads Guilty to Firearms Offense

Gulfport, Mississippi – A Louisiana man pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Brad Byerley of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Cedric Vontrell Franklin, 39, pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Gulfport.

According to court documents and information presented to the Court, on May 10, 2022, in Gulfport, Mississippi, law enforcement officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Franklin. Officers searched Franklin’s vehicle and recovered a loaded 40 caliber handgun. A search of Franklin’s criminal history revealed he has multiple felony drug convictions.

Franklin will be sentenced on December 19, 2022. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. However, if the Court determines he is an Armed Career Offender, he faces a minimum of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum of life. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The DEA and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics investigated this case with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Gulfport Police Department

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Buckner is 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.

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