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Waynesboro Man Sentenced to Over 2 Years in Federal Prison Under Project EJECT for Illegally Possessing a Firearm

Hattiesburg, Miss. – Iva Lacey, 44, of Waynesboro, was sentenced Wednesday by Senior U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett to 30 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $5,000 fine, for being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge Michelle A. Sutphin with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Lacey was previously convicted on multiple instances of felonious possession of controlled substances.  On January 24, 2019, while executing a search warrant at Lacey’s house, law enforcement found a firearm stored in a secret compartment hidden in his bathroom. Lacey subsequently admitted to possession of the firearm on a recorded jail phone call.

Lacey was indicted on September 25, 2019.  He pled guilty before Judge Starrett on November 26, 2019.

This case is part of Project EJECT, an initiative by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) and Project Guardian. EJECT is a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to fighting and reducing violent crime through prosecution, prevention, re-entry and awareness. EJECT stands for “Empower Justice Expel Crime Together.” PSN is bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, and the Waynesboro Police Department investigated the case. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew W. Eichner.

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