Four plead guilty in pawn shop gun thefts

Andre Lattour Young
Andre Lattour Young

GULFPORT -- Four men have pleaded guilty and a fifth is set for trial on the theft and sale of 50 firearms stolen from a Saucier pawn shop.

Tyson Lee Gaines Sr., 34, Kevin Gerard Edwards, 51, and Willie Carter, 34, pleaded guilty Wednesday to receipt, possession or disposal of firearms stolen from Friendly Pawn and Auto. Andre Young pleaded guilty Tuesday to misprision of felony. He knew a crime had occurred but didn't report it and later participated, Assistant U.S. Attorney Annette Williams said in court.

The guns were stolen during a burglary the weekend of June 6.

Young was paid $50 to hide a shotgun and a bag of 19 stolen handguns under a mattress behind a business in Hardy Court shopping center. A different person retrieved the guns. Young's payment was marked money from an undercover agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Young had been doing some work on a vehicle of George Sullivan Jr., who paid him to hide the guns and drove him to the drop-off spot, Williams said.

Sullivan, 43, also was indicted, but died in custody July 4 at the Stone County jail. Officials said he had health problems and died of natural causes.

The indictment said the illegal gun sales occurred between June 1, before the burglary, and June 24.

Gaines was the first person identified through surveillance videos of the burglary, a criminal complaint said.

ATF agents had Gaines under surveillance when he met with other co-defendants June 23, and agents followed Sullivan and Young to Hardy Court. Another person retrieved the guns, and agents followed the men to Gaines' Gulfport home, where most of them were taken into custody.

Gaines, Edwards and Carter each face up to 10 years in prison.

Gaines identified Edwards and Octavia "Jermaine" Winters, 32, as the men who burglarized the pawn shop and said Carter drove them there in a pickup truck, a document said. Gaines said he also went to the pawn shop but didn't go inside, and told agents Carter helped arranged gun sales in meetings at places including a barber shop.

Young faces a prison term of three years.

Young and Gaines will be sentenced Jan. 26.

Carter and Edwards will be sentenced Jan. 28.

Winters is set for trial on a court calendar that starts Jan. 4.

He faces charges of theft of firearms from a licensed dealer, receipt, possession or disposal of stolen firearms and felon in possession of a firearm. He faces up to 30 years in prison.