- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 13, 2016

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - A 32-year-old Gulfport man has admitted stealing 52 firearms in a burglary at Friendly Pawn and Auto in Saucier.

The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1Zkcu1g) Octavia Jermaine Winters pleaded guilty Monday to theft of firearms from a licensed firearms dealer from a break-in the weekend of June 6.

He is the last of five defendants to plead guilty in the federal investigation.

U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden accepted Winters’ plea and set his sentencing for April 22.

Winters faces maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Tyson Lee Gaines Sr., 34; Kevin Gerard Edwards, 51; and Willie Carter, 34, pleaded guilty to the same charge in October. They face the same penalties as Winters.

Andre Young, 54, also accepted a plea deal in October to a lesser charge of misprision of felony — knowing a crime was being committed but failing to report it.

Gaines was the first person identified through surveillance videos of the burglary and was under surveillance when he and others were linked to the thefts, a criminal complaint said.

Young had been paid $50 to hide a shotgun and a bag of 19 stolen weapons under a mattress behind a business in the Hardy Court shopping center in Gulfport, the document said. Another man retrieved the guns and the money Young was paid was marked money from an undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

After the gun drop-off, agents followed the men to Gaines’ Gulfport home, where most of them were arrested.

Gaines reportedly told agents Edwards and Winters burglarized the pawn shop and said Carter drove them there in a pickup truck. Gaines said he rode along with them but didn’t go into the shop, and said Carter helped arranged gun sales in meetings at places including a barber shop, the criminal complaint said.

George Sullivan Jr., 43, also was indicted. He died in custody July 4 at the Stone County jail. Officials said he had health problems and died of natural causes.


Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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