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Gulfport, Miss. – Waso Nam Flanagan, 53, a resident of Jackson County, pled guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden, to willfully engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, and Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Flanagan will be sentenced by Judge Ozerden on September 24, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. and faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  

On September 27, 2019, a Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Investigator received information that Flanagan was at a Biloxi address in Jackson County, near the border of Jackson and Harrison Counties.  The investigator had knowledge of an outstanding felony warrant for Flanagan’s arrest for possession of stolen firearms, and that Flanagan was on bond for an aggravated assault charge at the time.  When investigators found and arrested Flanagan, they also found baggies of marijuana and methamphetamine.

The ATF determined that Flanagan, who was a regular user of narcotics, had been selling firearms and drugs.  Flanagan used multiple pawn shops in Jackson and Harrison counties to pawn or sell firearms he bought “off of the street,” and the ATF learned that two of the firearms he purchased on the street, and then sold, had been stolen.   

ATF examined firearms pawned by Flanagan to local area pawn shops.  When Flanagan pawned firearms, he did not go back to redeem the pawns and was effectively selling the firearms.  ATF also obtained transaction documents and, determined that the firearms had traveled in interstate commerce, and were in good condition.  The ATF also researched official records and confirmed that Flanagan had never had a license to deal in firearms.

U.S. Attorney Hurst praised the cooperation of the ATF and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Stan Harris is the prosecutor for the case.

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