AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today announced three indictments returned from an Austin Grand Jury 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.
"These indictments continue to send the message that gun crime means hard time in Texas," said Attorney General Cornyn. "I commend the prosecutors for their work. 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," stated U.S. Attorney Bill Blagg. "We're taking dangerous criminals off the street, making communities safer places to live."
The indictments resulted from investigations conducted by Special Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Austin Police Department.
The first indictment charges Thomas Albert Dube III and Angela LaShane Zanies with one count of possession of a firearm, namely a short-barreled shotgun, by a convicted felon and one count of possession of an unregistered firearm. The maximum punishment on each count is up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The second indictment charges Michael Wayne Franklin Jr. of one count of possession of a firearm, namely a Model 38, .380 caliber pistol, by a convicted felon. Maximum punishment is up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The final indictment charges James Allen Swain with one count of possession of a firearm, namely a Smith and Wesson, .38 caliber blue steel revolver, by a convicted felon. Maximum punishment is up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Statewide, since January of this year Texas Exile has generated 197 arrests, 115 indictments, 10 convictions and 632 guns confiscated. 11 indictments have been returned in Austin.
Nine prosecutors, including Texas Exile State Director Michael McCaul of the Attorney General's Office, 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 along with billboards.
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