DOJ SealDepartment of Justice

United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2007                                                                 PHONE: (409) 839-2538
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe/                                                          CELL: (409) 553-9881



SHERMAN, TX – United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today that a 40-year-old Sherman man has been sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for his role in the arson fire that destroyed a retail firearms business in the Eastern District of Texas.

CURTIS RAY SEVERNS, was sentenced to 324 months in federal prison this week by United States District Judge Richard Schell.  Severns was also ordered to pay $461,731.97 in restitution.

According to information presented in court, Severns, the owner of Lone Star Guns in Plano, was indicted for arson, mail fraud, wire fraud and the use of fire to commit mail and wire fraud as a result of a firm that destroyed the business in August 2004.  Severns was convicted in December of 2006 after a 2 ½ week jury trial.

            Lone Star Guns was in business for over 30 years in the Plano community.  Several local residents and other persons around the country, who utilized Lone Star guns for retail firearm sales and repair services, lost their firearms as a result of the fire.  In addition, a Plano firefighter suffered injuries battling the arson fire. Estimated property damage from the fire is estimated at over $500,000.

            U.S. Attorney Ratcliffe praised the combined efforts of law enforcement in bringing Severns to justice, “The federal agents and investigators did an outstanding job of uncovering the real cause of this fire.  Because of their hard work and cooperative efforts, the individual who was responsible for this arson will be held accountable.”

            Ken Chisholm, ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge, stated, “This investigation shows our continued commitment to work with our fellow agencies to combat violent crime to keep our communities safe.”
This case was investigated by the Plano Police Department, Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.  Assistant United States Attorneys Tracey Batson and Terri Hagan prosecuted the case.



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