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Kosciusko gun thief sentenced

Estelle Cook. Photo courtesy of MDOC

Last week, a man was sentenced for his role in a 2014 theft of a Kosciusko gun store.

According to U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, 28-year-old Estelle Cook, Jr., and one of his co-defendants, Corey Hughes “tore a hole in the side of Central Mississippi Firearms and stole 41 guns” back in July 2014.

Along with Darnell Branch and Fredrick Russell, Hughes and Cook sold at least a dozen of the guns to individuals in the area. A news release stated that Cook specifically orchestrated the sale of at least ten of the guns to seven different buyers at a home in Durant.

After the arrest, it wasn’t until October 2017 that all four suspects were indicted by a federal grand jury on the charge of their unlawful conspiracy to possess and sell stolen firearms. All four suspects pled guilty to the charge and Cook is the first to be sentenced. His co-defendants will be sentenced soon, and Hurst gave the following information about their impending sentencing.

“Co-defendant Frederick Russell is scheduled to be sentenced on June 5, 2018. He faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Co-defendants Corey Hughes and Darnell Branch are scheduled to be sentenced on June 11, 2018. Hughes faces maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Branch faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.”

Cook was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release because he was a felon in possession of a firearm, and he must also pay $16,000 in restitution to the gun store.

Also sentenced in the case was 31-year-old Jermaine Griffin of Kosciusko, who purchased one of the stolen guns for $100. Hurst stated that Griffin bought a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol from the suspects knowing it was stolen. Griffin will spend 10 months in federal prison.

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