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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
Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Philadelphia Man Sentenced to Over 18 Years in Prison for Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime

Jackson, Miss. – A Philadelphia, Mississippi man was sentenced to 222 months in prison for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

James Nelson Peeples, Jr., 37, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Jackson.

According to court records, on July 15, 2018, a Philadelphia woman called the Philadelphia Police Department and reported that a man she knew as “P James” was at her house threatening her with a gun. An officer responded immediately and spoke with the woman. The officer then left the woman’s residence and quickly located Peeples nearby driving a black Honda Accord. The officer stopped Peeples and, as he approached the vehicle, saw Peeples attempting to hide a handgun. Peeples also appeared to be trying to put a bag of marijuana in his pants.

Peeples was arrested and a search was conducted. Methamphetamine, marijuana and three handguns were found. Peeples has multiple felony convictions out of Neshoba County Circuit Court for drug sales and for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

A federal grand jury indicted Peeples on January 15, 2020. He subsequently pled guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Philadelphia Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney 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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