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LITTLE ROCK MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO BRANDISHING FIREARM DURING DRUG TRAFFICKING CRIME

October 19, 2011

Little Rock - Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Grover Crossland, Resident Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, announced today Carlos Thurman, age 30, of Little Rock, Arkansas entered a plea of guilty to carrying and using a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, that is possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

At the plea hearing held before United States District Judge D.P. Marshall, Jr., Thurman admitted that on June 1, 2010, he was approached by a Little Rock Police Officer who had observed hand to hand narcotics transactions. During a pat down, Thurman fled from the officer, pulled a revolver from his pocket, and brandished the firearm. The officer commanded Thurman to get on the ground and subsequently fired at Thurman, but did not injure him. Thurman threw the firearm into the air and was taken into custody. Officers recovered the firearm, baggies of marijuana from Thurman’s pocket, and marijuana from Thurman’s vehicle.

“This investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Little Rock Police Department demonstrates how seriously all levels of law enforcement consider these acts of violence, particularly when law enforcement officers are threatened in the line of duty,” said Christopher R. Thyer, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. “We are committed to prosecuting individuals that threaten violence against law enforcement officers acting to protect the community.”

On March 22, 2011, the Attorney General announced a law enforcement officer safety initiative designed at reducing the number of line-of-duty injuries. In doing so, the Attorney General noted that after a two-year decline in law enforcement fatalities, 2010 was one of the deadliest years on record for law enforcement in nearly two decades.

The statutory penalty for carrying and using a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime when the firearm is brandished is not less than seven (7) years imprisonment and not more than life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000. Thurman remains in custody pending sentencing, which will be set at a later date by the court.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Little Rock Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Mazzanti.

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Christopher R. Thyer

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