Jury finds Little Rock man guilty of possessing machine gun

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) — A federal jury has convicted a Little Rock man of five offenses related to firearms, heroin, and methamphetamine, including possession of a machinegun. Brian Barron, 38, was convicted after his trial ended late Tuesday afternoon.

United States District Judge James M. Moody, Jr., presided over the two-day trial, which concluded with the jury verdict finding Barron guilty on all counts. Judge Moody will sentence Barron at a later date.

Testimony during the trial established that in October 2017, police responded to a shooting incident in Little Rock where a woman reported the father of her children, Brian Barron, had shot at her and hit her in the head with a machinegun. The resulting investigation revealed that Barron, who was a felon, was dealing in heroin and methamphetamine. Barron had two drug-related convictions in Pulaski County and a federal conviction for possession with intent to distribute phencyclidine (often called PCP) involving a firearm.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for a storage locker Barron had rented on Geyer Springs Road, and while officers were conducting surveillance on the storage locker, Barron arrived in a gold GMC Yukon with a small child. Officers encountered Barron near the storage locker and ultimately had to handcuff him due to his aggressive behavior. Officers conducted a canine sniff of the Yukon, which alerted to the presence of narcotics.

In the Yukon, investigators found two firearms: a stolen Bushmaster rifle, wrapped in a garbage bag with a loaded 100 round drum of ammunition, and a Mac 10 machine pistol with multiple loaded extended magazines. They also found cocaine, over 40 grams of methamphetamine actual, 26 capsules of heroin, and various pills.

425 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 500 (501) 340-2600 Post Office Box 1229 Little Rock, Arkansas 72203-1229

“Incredibly, this repeat offender discharged his machinegun at the mother of his children,” stated United States Attorney Cody Hiland. “The hard work by law enforcement and our AUSAs in obtaining this conviction is an important step in keeping our communities safer by removing dangerous, repeat offenders from our communities.”

A grand jury charged Barron on July 10, 2019, in a Superseding Indictment that contained five counts: being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of 5 grams or more of methamphetamine actual with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a machinegun.

Due to Barron’s criminal history, the statutory penalty for being a felon in possession of a firearm is not less than 15 years imprisonment and not more than life. When the crime involves a machinegun, the statutory penalty for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is not less than 30 years imprisonment and not more than life. Because those sentences are mandatory minimums and must run consecutively, Barron faces a minimum sentence of 45 years imprisonment.

The statutory penalty for possession with intent to distribute 5 or more grams of actual methamphetamine is not less than 10 years imprisonment and not more than life due to Barron’s criminal history. The statutory penalty for possession with intent to distribute heroin is not more than 30 years. The statutory penalty for possession of a machinegun is not more than 10 years. Barron also faces supervised release of not less than 8 years after his term of imprisonment and a potential fine of up to $8 million.

Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Diane Upchurch, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Little Rock Field Office, announced the guilty verdict. The investigation was conducted by the Little Rock Police Department and the GETROCK Task Force of the FBI.

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