AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn and U.S. Attorney Bill Blagg today announced four indictments returned from a federal grand jury in Austin under the Texas Exile program. The indictments were returned in the Austin Division of the Western District of Texas. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman is Chief of the Austin Division. The cases were handled by Michael McCaul, statewide project director of Texas Exile.
"These indictments continue to send the message that gun crime means hard time in Texas," said Attorney General Cornyn. "Texas Exile is working and will continue to work, thanks to everyone's commitment, from the police officer on the street making arrests to the prosecutors reviewing cases."
"Texas Exile is working," said U.S. Attorney Bill Blagg. "We're taking dangerous criminals off the street, making communities safer places to live."
The first indictment charges Milton Browning with one count of possession of a firearm, namely a Smith and Wesson .44 magnum caliber, by a convicted felon. If convicted, Browning faces a maximum punishment of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The second indictment charges Hector Garcia with one count of possession of a firearm, namely a Glock, Model 17, 9mm pistol, by a convicted felon. If convicted, Garcia faces a minimum of 15 years in prison.
The third indictment charges Albert Rhodes with one count of possession of a firearm, namely a Davis Industries, model P-380, .380 caliber pistol, by a convicted felon. If convicted, Rhodes faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The final indictment charges Jamaal Isaac Herring with one count of possession of a firearm, namely a RG 14 .22 caliber revolver, by a convicted felon. If convicted, Herring faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Statewide, since January of this year Texas Exile has generated over 200 arrests, 126 indictments, 10 convictions and over 600 guns have been confiscated. Fifteen indictments have now been returned in Austin. Nine prosecutors are now in place working statewide.
Attorney General Cornyn and Governor George W. Bush, along with the four U.S. Attorneys in Texas, announced Texas Exile last September. The program is funded by a $1.6 million grant from Governor Bush's Criminal Justice Division. Money from the grant funds special prosecutors and an aggressive public awareness campaign that features radio and TV ads and billboards.
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