Gulfport Man Sentenced to Over 6 Years in Prison for Firearm Offense

Gulfport, Miss. – A Gulfport man was sentenced today to 74 months in prison for being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

According to court documents, on January 7, 2021, Gulfport Police officers and ATF agents executed a search warrant on the residence of Connor Higginbotham, 22, as part of investigation into stolen firearms.  Agents discovered 12 firearms, several of them capable of receiving high capacity magazines. Officers also discovered approximately 300 grams of marijuana and an unregistered silencer. 

Higginbotham pled guilty on June 24, 2021, to being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm.

Higginbotham received sentencing enhancements for possessing stolen firearms, possessing the firearms in connection with another felony offense, and the number of firearms that he possessed.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Gulfport Police Department, and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Buckner prosecuted 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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