Arkansas man sentenced to federal prison in connection to drive-by near Keesler Air Force Base
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - An Arkansas man was sentenced to spend the next 33 months in federal prison after pleading guilty last year to charges stemming from a drive-by shooting that happened near a Biloxi Air Force base.
Victor Cody Rosillo was initially charged with assaulting a federal employee with a dangerous weapon, assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm, and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person.
On Wednesday, he was sentenced after accepting a plea agreement in December that dropped the first two charges, leaving him to plead guilty to just the third count - possession of ammunition.
The charges are all connected to a drive-by shooting that happened on Oct. 6, 2020, in the area of Kensington Drive near Keesler Air Force Base.
According to court documents, Biloxi Police responded to a call about a drive-by shooting at the base. When they arrived, base security officers told them four lawn maintenance employees reported being shot at from the intersection of Kensington Drive and Bayview Avenue.
One of the men told police he was working outside in the area near the emergency room when he heard tires screeching and saw a black Nissan Sentra come to a stop at the intersection. He said the driver of the vehicle, later identified as Rosillo, got out of the car and walked to the passenger side. As a woman who was in the passenger seat slid over to the driver’s seat, the witness said Rosillo looked at him and said, “What are you looking at n*****r?”
The vehicle then drove away but just 2-3 minutes later, the grounds employee said he heard a pop or loud noise consistent with that of a gun being fired coming from Kensington Drive. He then saw the same Nissan Sentra drive back toward the intersection. Again, the vehicle stopped and Rosillo got out of the passenger side with something in his hands. After getting back into the car, the witness said Rosillo stuck a handgun out the window and fired two shots toward Keesler Air Force Base. The car then sped off, heading east on Bayview Avenue.
Witness statements from three other grounds employees, as well as surveillance video taken from a home on Kensington Avenue, corroborated the witness’ account.
Authorities provided a search warrant to Google LLC and were able to obtain information using GPS, WiFi, or Bluetooth location history to report devices located within the geographical area provided. Once an ID matching the coordinates was identified, authorities were able to obtain from Google the suspect’s name and phone number.
That information led them to Victor Rosillo and his wife, whose name the car was registered to.
After being taken into custody, Rosillo admitted to failing to to check in with his probation officer in Arkansas, where he was previously convicted. He then told investigators he had been heavily using methamphetamine and Xanax. He admitted to firing a 9mm firearm after an argument with his wife but couldn’t recall where he got the gun, telling investigators, “Dude, it was cheap. Someone threw it to me for a sack.” Rosillo said he tossed the gun out a day or two after the shooting.
Rosillo was charged with three felonies but signed a plea agreement, leaving him to only plead guilty to the possession of ammunition charge. He was sentenced to 33 months in prison.
Despite the firearm never being recovered, authorities did match two shell casings and a fired bullet retrieved from the scene of the shooting on base. The recovered bullet was analyzed by a forensic examiner and determined to be a 9mm bullet consistent with the 9mm shell casings recovered. The forensic examiner also noted that the 9mm projectile would have been fired from a 9mm HiPoint firearm.
Rosillo, who was serving a term of state felony probation in Arkansas at the time of the shooting in Mississippi, was indicted by a federal grand jury and pled guilty on December 28, 2021. He was sentenced to 33 months in prison on April 6, 2022.
U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca, Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mississippi, and Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in New Orleans all helped prosecute the case.
U.S. Attorney LaMarca praised the investigation and coordination of the FBI, the ATF, Keesler Security Forces and the Biloxi Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stan Harris prosecuted the case as part of the federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program. The centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s crime reduction efforts, PSN is an evidence-based program proven effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together and develop comprehensive solutions. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
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