Jury Convicts Gulfport Man of Firearms Offense

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Gulfport, Mississippi – On Thursday, January 20, 2022, a federal jury convicted a Gulfport man for being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Brad L. Byerley, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration

According to Court documents and evidence presented at trial, on August 8, 2021, Decorie Deshun Bates, 33, was arrested after the Gulfport Police Department responded to a domestic disturbance 911 call.  Prior to officers’ arrival at the scene, Bates left the residence on foot.  However, the caller took photos of Bates while he was leaving the residence. These photos depicted Bates carrying a firearm.

Bates was apprehended nearby unarmed.  However, a firearm, matching the firearm depicted in the photographs, was found along his suspected route of travel.  After being taken into custody, Bates admitted to purchasing the firearm approximately two weeks before the incident.  A special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives testified that the gun was manufactured outside of the state of Mississippi.  Bates had prior felony convictions for Aggravated Assault, Credit Card Fraud, and Burglary of a Dwelling.

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Bates is scheduled to be sentenced on April 18, 2022. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Gulfport Police Department investigated the case with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Buckner and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Meynardie are 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.


Operation Scams-R-Us involves a transnational organized crime enterprise (TOC) operating numerous complex financial fraud schemes via the internet.

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