Marquis Pollard, age 42, of Yemassee, South Carolina, was sentenced to eight years in prison on Monday, Feb. 27 for multiple firearm offenses related to an illegal gun trafficking operation, according to the US Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut.
Authorities learned of the operation in the spring of 2021, when Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Task Force officers learned that Pollard had used straw purchasers to obtain at least 17 guns, which he would then sell in Connecticut.
On April 19, 2021, authorities investigating the case made a controlled purchase of a 9mm Glock handgun and a drum magazine in New Haven from Pollard and another man, Quinn Mooring, for a price of $1,500. The gun had been one of five 9mm handguns that had been bought by an individual at a pawn shop in Port Royal, South Carolina, a month before the New Haven transaction, federal officials said.
The next month, on May 3, 2021, investigators then surveilled this individual as he bought two more guns from the Port Royal dealer and then transferred them to Pollard in a restaurant parking lot in Beaufort, South Carolina.
It was then that officers attempted to arrest Pollard, who drove away in his car at high speed, driving over curbs and sidewalks in his attempt to get away. Eventually, he abandoned his car and tried running on foot but was caught in a residential neighborhood.
Investigators found three guns in his vehicle, including the two guns he had received in the restaurant parking lot. They also found a loaded .40 caliber pistol with a 30-round magazine.
In addition to the two guns he received in Beaufort and the gun purchased by authorities in New Haven, investigators also ended up recovering five other guns that had been sold by Pollard in Connecticut. These guns were recovered from the following people and incidents:
- One was found with a felon in New Haven;
- One was found at the scene of a shooting in Hamden;
- One was found at a shooting in New Haven;
- One was found in possession of a juvenile in South Carolina who had used it to commit multiple crimes;
- One was found in Hamden in February 2021 with an individual who had tried to flee from authorities while possessing the gun and crack cocaine.
Nine other guns sold by Pollard have not been found.
Because Pollard's criminal history includes multiple felony convictions, it was illegal for him to possess a firearm or ammunition that had moved in interstate commerce, federal officials said.
Pollard has been in prison since the day of his arrest and pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022.
In addition to his time in prison, Pollard will have to serve three years of supervised release.
As for the other people involved in the gun trafficking operation, Mooring, a New Haven resident, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon and awaits sentencing. The individuals who bought guns for Pollard in South Carolina were charged and convicted in the District of South Carolina.
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