CAPE GIRARDEAU -- Sentencing was set Tuesday for three Scott County men and a Memphis, Tenn., woman who pled guilty to separate charges of unlawfully possessing a firearm.
Ricky Mixon, 21, pled guilty to one felony count of being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He had previously been convicted of two felony burglaries in Scott County.
On Oct. 10, 2003, two Sikeston police officers made contact with Mixon. One of the officers attempted to arrest Mixon and, during that attempt, Mixon took a Titan, .25 caliber pistol, from his clothes and threw it to the ground. Mixon was detained shortly after throwing the pistol to the ground. The pistol was seized by the officers.
Kristy J. Turnage, 26, of Memphis, Tenn., was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped Dec. 29, 2002, for a speeding violation in New Madrid County by a Missouri State highway patrolman. The officer asked for permission to search the car, which was granted. He found a Lorcin, Model L-380, .380 caliber, semi-automatic pistol in a bag in the car. Turnage told the officer the pistol was hers. The officer determined the pistol had been stolen.
Turnage was interviewed by an ATF agent at a later date. She told the agent she had used certain controlled substances for years, including the period of time when the pistol was found. Turnage also described purchasing the pistol in Memphis from an acquaintance of hers.
Jessie L. Mercer, 28, of Scott County pled guilty to one felony count of being a previously convicted felon in possession of firearms; Jonathan R. Ward, 29, of Scott County pled guilty to one felony count of possession of stolen firearms. On May 31, 2005, a New Madrid County resident reported his residence had been broken into, and he reported seven firearms and other personal property had been stolen. The home had been entered through a back door, which had been forced open.
Later that same day, a Mississippi County deputy received word that some men were trying to sell some firearms that were stolen. The deputy set up a surveillance on the location where the men were supposed to arrive. The men arrived and Mercer and Ward were interviewed. Mercer, who had previously been convicted of the felony of burglary in Harris County, Texas, admitted possessing the firearms, and Ward stated he and Mercer had burglarized the house and took the firearms.
Mixon, Turnage, Mercer and Ward now face a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber set sentencing for Mercer and Ward for April 24 and for Mixon and Turnage April 25.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith D. Sorrell handled the prosecution in all cases for the government.