Crime

Man in sawed-off shotgun case accused of drug dealing

COURTESY BILOXI POLICE DEPARTMENT 
 This man used a sawed-off shotgun to rob a Biloxi bank in October 2013, according to police.
COURTESY BILOXI POLICE DEPARTMENT This man used a sawed-off shotgun to rob a Biloxi bank in October 2013, according to police.

GULFPORT -- A Lucedale man, indicted on a charge involving a sawed-off shotgun, also has been accused in a plan to distribute marijuana in George County.

A new indictment unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court also alleges James Denson Tanner was part of a drug conspiracy involving less than 50 kilos of marijuana.

Tanner, 46, has been free on a $25,000 bond since Oct. 9. The firearm charge alleges he was in possession of a 12-gauge shotgun modified to have a barrel less than 18 inches.

Tanner is required to appear in federal court May 12 for arraignment on the new indictment, court records show.

The shotgun and his name are not listed on the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, both indictments said. The application requires a criminal background check, a $200 tax and a $5 fee when ownership changes hands.

Sawed-off shotguns are easy to conceal and are considered deadly close-range weapons.

Both indictments accuse him of having the shotgun in George County on Oct. 1, 2014.

On the same day, the new indictment says, Tanner conspired to possess with intent to distribute less than 50 kilos of marijuana. That's 110 pounds or less.

Federal drug-trafficking laws carry penalties based on the amount or weight of various drugs. Less than 50 kilos is the least amount of marijuana in four weight categories.

A condition of Tanner's release in October required him to remove all weapons from his home.

His charges carry up to 15 years in prison.

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