Suspects accused in federal gun case are now facing more charges

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Suspects police believe were involved in a scheme to burglarize, steal, and sell 48 weapons that belonged to a Moss Point man are now facing more charges.

Friday, the Moss Point Police Department charged LaKeith Smith, and brothers Damian and Theodore Towne with burglary. The Townes' mother, Catina Towne-Henderson, Jessica Romero and brothers Princeton, Aubrey and Kenneth Knox are all being charged with accessory after the fact.

These state charges are in addition to the federal charges seven of the suspects are already facing.

"The state charges will run independent of the federal charges," Moss Point Police Chief Keith Davis said. "The prosecution may, at a later time, decide to work out some type of sentence. If they are convicted of these crimes, of course, they may work out some type of sentence at that point."

Damian Towne has not yet been charged federally, but ATF Resident Agent in Charge Joel Lee said more charges will be made. Damian Towne was already in jail, facing unrelated charges, when the others were charged federally in the case.

"We do anticipate there will be additional charges," Lee said. "It's a fluid, ongoing investigation and we are joined at the hip in partnership with Moss Point Police Department, and all of the other local and state even federal law enforcement agencies, to get to the bottom of this very fluid case with many moving parts. We want to bring it to a good and positive end, and that will not happen until every last one of the firearms are recovered."

Thirty-six of the 48 stolen firearms are still missing. Of those still missing, seven are machine guns.

"We have been getting some leads about guns being in one place or another," Chief Davis said. "We have been getting a lot of Crime Stopper tips as well, and we are just following up those leads right now, trying to recover the other guns that are out there."

All 12 weapons that were found were in South Mississippi, but three weeks after the burglary Agent Lee worries about where the other guns may be.

"We are very concerned about that," Lee said. "We also know how important it is to work together and work together with the community, because we want to make sure that we keep the guns in a confined area. But wherever they are, we are going to go find them. So we will not have any boundaries or borders as it pertains to recovering these weapons."

If you have any information about the stolen guns, you are asked to call your local police department, the ATF Gulfport office at (228) 575-6501 or Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898.

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