Man pleads guilty in federal court for firearms violation in Newton Co.

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - BEAUMONT, Texas - A 43-year-old Pitkin, LA man has pleaded guilty to federal firearms violations in the Eastern District of Texas announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

William Craft pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of ammunition today before U.S. District Judge Ron Clark.

According to information presented in court, in June 2008, Craft was stopped by a Newton County Sheriff's Deputy for a traffic violation.  A search of Craft's vehicle led to the discovery of several rounds of ammunition and more than 100 grams of methamphetamine.  Further investigation revealed Craft was a convicted felon with prior felony convictions from 2000 in Louisiana for attempting to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of dangerous substances.  As a convicted felon, Craft is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition.  Craft was indicted on Oct. 21, 2009, and charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Craft faces up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing.  A sentencing date has not been set.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition and body armor, and improving the safety of residents in the Eastern District of Texas. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

This case was investigated by the ATF, the Newton County Sheriff's Office and the Newton Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Peacock.