JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson, Hattiesburg, Moss Point…the list goes on. They all hand out federal sentencings for felons in possession of firearms, but what’s the big picture here?
Project EJECT brings all the law enforcement together under the same umbrella, so in Jackson, a city with rampant gun crime, the “felon with a firearm” charge has a strategic use.
“Since we’re the ones who prosecute this in federal court, we have the ATF, we have the DEA, we have the FBI, we have HSI. But we also have the state law enforcement agencies as well as the local law enforcement like Jackson Police Department,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst.
Project EJECT, working as a force multiplier for local agencies such as Jackson Police Department, makes it easier to get some of the more violent criminals off the streets. In the federal system, they’re much more often detained without bond than in the Hinds County court system. They serve their entire sentence in a federal prison far from home with no chance for parole.
And, officials say, a lot of convicted felons have guns with which it's possible they could commit further crimes. But Congress has prohibited certain others from being gun owners, too.
“There are illegal aliens with firearms. Those with misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence. Those under indictment," Hurst said. "None of those individuals can have firearms so that’s a tool we in the federal system use to get those violent criminals off the streets.”
There are other gun-related crimes that can get you a cell in federal prison as well, such as carjackings and robberies of businesses.
“Those are all federal crimes, and we’re asking and we’re taking every single case that JPD brings to us that we can prove in a court of law to get those violent criminals off our streets,” Hurst said.