A Meridian man is headed to federal prison on gun charges. 

Marquis Howard McNeely, 38 was sentenced Friday by Chief U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III to two 120-month sentences, with the second sentence to be served concurrently with the first sentence, for two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Kurt Thielhorn, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

McNeely was also ordered to pay a $1,500 fine.

According to a news release, at approximately 4 a.m on July 24, 2019, a Lauderdale County Sheriff’s deputy was on patrol on Highway 19 when the deputy encountered McNeely in a vehicle parked in the wrong lane of traffic.

McNeely was found to be intoxicated and placed under arrest. A stolen pistol was recovered from the vehicle. McNeely was charged and released on bond.

The news release said that on Oct. 8, 2019, McNeely drove up to a traffic safety checkpoint being conducted by the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office at the intersection of State Boulevard and Chandler Road.

A deputy approached McNeely’s car and immediately saw that McNeely had an assault rifle style pistol held between his right knee and the center console. McNeely was again arrested and charged.

McNeely was indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 19, 2019 for being a previously convicted felon in possession of firearms. McNeely has prior felony convictions for felony DUI, aggravated assault and manslaughter. He pleaded guilty on Sept. 1, 2020.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charles W. Kirkham.

This case is part of Project EJECT, an initiative by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods and Project Guardian.

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