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Vicksburg Felon Sentenced to Almost 6 Years in Federal Prison for International Gun Trafficking Conspiracy and Illegally Possessing Firearms
Firearms Stolen from Pawn Shop, Illegally Shipped to United Kingdom Hidden in Children’s Toys
Jackson, Miss. – Maurice Taylor, 33, of Vicksburg, was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Tom S. Lee to 70 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiring to violate the Arms Export Control Act and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, Kirk Thielhorn, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Jere T. Miles, Special Agent in Charge with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans. Taylor was also ordered to pay a $2,500 fine.
Maurice Taylor carried out a scheme in which he shipped stolen firearms from Mississippi to a co-conspirator in London, England. He prepared two separate packages containing stolen firearms concealed within children’s toys, and mailed the packages to London, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act. DNA evidence confirmed that Taylor, who is a convicted felon, was one of the people who handled the firearms. The firearms had been stolen days earlier during a burglary of a pawn shop in Natchez, Mississippi. Taylor texted with his co-conspirator messages and photographs of the guns he would mail, and received back from London confirmation numbers for wired payments for the guns, through a mobile phone application. After the London Metropolitan Police arrested Taylor’s partner, the LMP seized his phone and several firearms from his car. Evidence of the communications and the electronic payments were retrieved from the co- conspirator’s phone.
Taylor pled guilty before Judge Lee on March 28, 2019 to conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He has prior felony convictions for burglary and grand larceny in Sharkey County, Mississippi.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, and the London Metropolitan Police Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Theodore M. Cooperstein and Charles W. Kirkham.