News Banner Image


July 18, 2011

Washington - Tony Branscum, 25, and James Bradley “Brad” Branscum, 23, both of Salado, Ark., pleaded guilty today to criminal violations of housing rights related to their role in the Aug. 28, 2010, cross burning in front of an African American man’s apartment in Salado, the Department of Justice announced.

The two men, who are first cousins, along with co-defendant, Curtis Coffee, 19, also of Salado, were indicted in November 2010, by a federal grand jury on civil rights charges and other related federal charges stemming from their participation in the cross burning.

Both Branscums admitted in court that on the night of Aug. 28, 2010, they, along with Coffee, devised a plan to burn a cross in the yard of an African-American in the Salado community. Thereafter, Tony Branscum constructed a wooden cross in a workshop behind his house. The men then covered the cross in gasoline-soaked clothing and Brad Branscum drove them and the cross to the victim’s residence. Upon arriving at the residence, one of the men propped up the cross on a satellite dish and ignited it.

“Interfering with a person’s housing rights because of his race will not be tolerated in our country,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will vigorously prosecute individuals that violate the rights of others because of race.”

Both Tony and Brad Branscum face up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

This case was investigated by the Little Rock, Ark., Division of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Ray White of the Eastern District of Arkansas and Trial Attorneys Cindy Chung and Henry Leventis of the Civil Rights Division.

Return to Top

Christopher R. Thyer

United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas is pleased to bring you

Offices of the U.S. Attorneys Briefing Room

Department of Justice Seal

The Briefing Room highlights the work of the U.S. Attorneys' offices across the country.

Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.

Department of Justice Seal

Report Feeding Program Fraud in Arkansas.

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.

Victim Witness Assistance
Learn about victim notification and rights, witness information, and helpful resources.
Project Safe Neighborhoods

Our nation-wide commitment to reducing gun crime in America.

Oficinas de los Fiscales de Estados Unidos En Español

Justice 101