Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive


Tuesday, March 13, 2001

CORNYN ANNOUNCES BEAUMONT 'TEXAS EXILE' SENTENCES

Convicted felon facing 9 years in federal prison

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn and Mike Bradford, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, today announced a 108-month sentence against Richard Wayne Sanders in connection with the Texas Exile program. The sentence was handed down in federal district court in Beaumont.

"Texas Exile is working because this criminal and the guns he carried are off the streets, making our communities safer," said Attorney General Cornyn. "I commend the prosecutor, Jennifer Lowery, and the U.S. Attorney for their work on this case."

On April 26, 2000, the Polk County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at Sanders' residence in Onalaska. Sanders escorted deputies to his room and produced a bag from his closet that contained 23 ounces of marijuana. Next to the bag, deputies recovered two firearms: a weapon made from a Mossberg, Model 200AD, 12-gauge, pump-action shotgun that bore no serial number and was not registered to him; and a Harrington and Richardson, Model 158, 12-gauge shotgun.

According to the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, in the 12-month period ending December 31, 2000, 757 defendants were indicted in federal courts in Texas for violations of federal firearms and weapons statutes, an 82 percent increase over the previous year. During 1999, 416 defendants were indicted in federal courts in Texas for violations of federal firearms and weapons statutes. During 2000, Texas indicted twice as many defendants for violating federal gun laws as any other state, and Texas indicted more defendants for violating federal gun laws than the states of New York and California combined.

Since Jan. 2000, Texas Exile has resulted in 826 indictments, 322 convictions and over 900 guns have been confiscated.

To learn more about Texas Exile and how to get involved in public awareness efforts around the state, visit www.texasexile.com or visit the Attorney General's website at www.oag.state.tx.us.

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Contact: Mark Heckmann, Tom Kelley or Jane Dees Shepperd at (512) 463-2050.
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