Jackson, Miss. – Yesterday, after a two-day trial before U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate, a federal jury in Jackson found Ankit Puri, 34, an illegal alien from India, guilty of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm that had traveled through interstate commerce, announced United States Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge Jere T. Miles with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans.
On March 3, 2018, officers with the Jackson Police Department arrested Puri for aggravated assault, arising from Puri’s shooting of an unarmed individual in a convenience store. Puri had overstayed his visitor visa and was in the process of being removed from the United States at the time of the shooting. Homeland Security became aware of his arrest and brought charges related to his illegal possession of a firearm.
“There is absolutely zero tolerance for those who break our immigration laws and then commit violent crimes. I applaud these JPD officers, HSI agents and prosecutors for bringing this individual to justice and making Jackson safer,” said U.S. Attorney Hurst.
Puri will be sentenced by Judge Wingate on January 4, 2019. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Homeland Security Investigations and the Jackson Police Department investigated the case. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Gregory Kennedy and Lynn Murray.
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). EJECT is a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to fighting and reducing violent crime in Jackson through prosecution, prevention, re-entry and awareness. EJECT stands for “Empower Jackson Expel Crime Together.”
PSN is a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
SOURCE- THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ)
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi
WE WANT TO THANK ALL THE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE DEDICATED THEIR LIVES TO KEEPING OUR COUNTRY SAFE.
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