Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Monday, April 24, 2000


Three indictments returned from Beaumont Grand Jury

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn and U.S. Attorney Michael Bradford today announced three indictments returned from a federal Grand Jury in Beaumont under the Texas Exile program. The indictments were returned in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas. The indictments were handled by Special Prosecutor Jennifer Lowery.

"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."

The first indictment charges Alan Andrew Abt with two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and two counts of possession of a firearm by a fugitive. Abt has prior felony convictions out of Florida that include burglary, robbery and felon in possession of a firearm. Abt was found with a significant amount of ammunition including one round of .357 caliber ammunition, 126 rounds of 12 gauge shotgun shells, and 17 rounds of .38-40 caliber ammunition. If convicted, Abt faces between 15 years and life in prison and up to a $25,000 fine.

The second indictment charges John Christopher Lee with one count of using and carrying a firearm in connection with drug trafficking. Lee was found with a pistol and methamphetamine. If convicted, Lee faces 5 years in prison.

The third indictment charges Vanessa Shawana Amond with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. If convicted, Amond faces up to 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

Statewide, since January of this year Texas Exile has generated 197 arrests, 115 indictments, 10 convictions and 632 guns confiscated. 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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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050