Man gets 10 years in theft of 52 firearms from pawn shop


GULFPORT -- A Gulfport man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the theft of 52 firearms stolen from Friendly Pawn and Auto in Saucier.

Tyson Lee Gaines Sr., 34, received the maximum penalty for stealing firearms from a licensed dealer.

He also was ordered to help repay $9,008.68 with several co-defendants.

U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden sentenced him Tuesday and ordered the prison term, followed by three years of supervised release.

The break-in occurred June 6.

Gaines is among five men indicted in a joint investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Harrison County Sheriff's Office.

He was the identified through surveillance videos of the burglary and was under surveillance when he and others were linked to the thefts, a criminal complaint said.

One of his co-defendants had been paid $50 to hide a shotgun and a bag of 19 stolen weapons under a mattress behind the Hardy Court shopping center in Gulfport, the document said.

The money had been marked by undercover agents.

Gaines had been under surveillance, and men who gathered at the gun drop-off spot returned to his house, where most of them were arrested.

Four other co-defendants have each pleaded guilty on related charges and await sentencing.

The fifth defendant, George Sullivan Jr., 43, died in custody July 4 at the Stone County jail.