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JURY FINDS SHOOTER GUILTY OF FIREARM VIOLATIONS
BEAUMONT, Texas - a 53-year-old Beaumont man has been found guilty by a jury of federal firearm violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Tony Earl Bailentia, Jr. was convicted today of being a felon in possession of a firearm following a two-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Ron Clark. The jury returned the verdict around 12:30 pm after deliberating for about 2 ½ hours.
According to information presented in court, Bailentia, whose street name is "LA", used a .22 caliber revolver to shoot a man in the North End of Beaumont on April 24, 2011. Three weeks later, on May 10, 2011, Beaumont Police were dispatched to another North End address after Bailentia had threatened a second man with a firearm. When police arrived, they arrested Bailentia and located the .22 caliber revolver in a nearby hiding place. Further investigation connected the revolver to a spent bullet that was recovered from the scene of the April 24 shooting. It was also discovered that Bailentia is a convicted felon, having been previously found guilty in Jefferson County of attempted murder in 1994, and unlawful possession of firearm by a felon in 2010. It is a federal violation for a convicted felon to own or possess firearms or ammunition.
On July 7, 2011, Bailentia was indicted by a federal grand jury for two counts of felon in possession of a firearm. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison for each count. A sentencing date has not been set. State charges remain pending in Jefferson County related to the April 24 shooting.
The case was investigated by the ATF, the Beaumont Police Department, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, and the Harris County Sheriff's Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John B. Ross.