Gang members and associates sentenced in gun trafficking - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gang members and associates sentenced in gun trafficking

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

A gun round up that netted more than a hundred guns is part of an ongoing investigation that led authorities to arrest more than 50 gang members and their associates.

"A lot of these associates are key components in the enterprising that the gangs are involved in, so when we target gang members we also have to target their associates," ATF Resident Agent in Charge Joel Lee explained.

The arrests, agents say, have made South Mississippi a safer place.

"We have taken a significant amount of drugs off the street," Lee said, "and we have taken over 200 guns off the street."

Agents say more than a hundred of those guns were owned and sold by 15 people, six of which stood before a federal judge on Wednesday.

David Brent Watters was sentenced for his part in selling guns to an undercover agent. After he testified about his father's involvement in gun trafficking.

Cherish Sherryl, 22, was in tears asking the judge for a chance to start over, instead she will spend 15 years behind bars.

The case against Wilton Joseph Cuevas was continued and his mother says she does not believe he knowingly did anything illegal.

"I know my son would not be involved with anything that gave guns to cartels, modifying them," Rita Cuevas said. "He's not a gang member. He's just a good guy that unfortunately got mixed up with some people."

But agents say they have a mountain of evidence on all those arrested that proves otherwise.

"It's easy to hide their gang affiliation with loved ones, parents and those close to them that are not a part of the gang lifestyle," Lee said "That is what makes it part of the problem, because people in the community are not as aware of severity of today's gang members."

The following is a complete list of those sentenced Wednesday in Gulfport by Senior U.S. District Judge Walter J. Gex III:

  • Cherish Deneen Sherrill, 22, of Gulfport, was sentenced to 180 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $10,000 fine.

  • John Ashley Perrette, 25, of Saucier, was sentenced to 150 months followed by 3 years supervised release and a $10,000 fine.

  • Jeffrey Allan Perrette, 21, of Saucier, was sentenced to 128 months followed by 3 years supervised release and a $10,000 fine.

  • David M. Watters, 53, of Gulfport, was sentenced to 109 months followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $10,000 fine.
  • Codairo S. McCall, 25, of Gulfport, was sentenced to 105 months followed by 3 years supervised release and a $10,000 fine.
  • David Brent Watters, 22, of Gulfport, was sentenced to 82 months followed by 3 years supervised release and a $10,000 fine.
  • Patrick K. Clark, 48, of Gulfport, was sentenced to 48 months followed by 3 years supervised release and a $3,000 fine.
  • Robert Bruce Smith, 21, of Gulfport, was sentenced to 41 months followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $3,000 fine.
  • Kenneth Cody Cochran, 25, of Ocean Springs, was sentenced to 33 months followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $3,000 fine.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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