Austin jury convicts McCulloch man on federal firearms charges

United States Attorney Johnny Sutton announced last week that a federal jury in Austin convicted Todd Mitchell Ricks, of Brady, of being a felon in possession of a firearm, using a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crime and maintaining a drug involved premises. Sentencing has been set for Feb. 19, 2008, before U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel. Ricks faces imprisonment of 30 years to life as an armed career criminal and career offender under U.S. sentencing guidelines. At trial, the government showed that on June 26, 2006, state and local law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at a rural residence near Brady in McCulloch County that was occupied by Ricks. Officers found ingredients for the manufacture of methamphetamine and remnants of a prior methamphetamine cook, along with approximately 378.67 grams of methamphetamine. Ricks admitted that he was on parole, and officers later learned that the defendant was a multiple- convicted felon with at least five prior convictions for burglary of a habitation and two theft convictions. Officers also found a loaded semiautomatic pistol and additional ammunition in the drawer of a bedside table. This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms, the Drug Enforcement Administration as well as the Texas Department of Public Safety and the McCulloch County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted for the government by Assistant United States Attorney Jerry Carruth and Special Assistant United States Attorney Rachelle Douglas.

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