Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

March 01, 2012

Smith County Man Sentenced for Federal Firearms Violation

         TYLER, Texas - A 38-year-old Tyler man has been sentenced to federal prison for federal firearms violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

                Martrice Smith pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, 2011, to being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider.

According to information presented in court, Smith admitted that on Oct. 20, 2010, he was in possession of a shotgun.  Further investigation revealed Smith was a convicted felon, having previously been found guilty of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in the Eastern District of Texas in 2005; possession of a controlled substance in Smith County in 2005; possession of a controlled substance in Smith County in 2004; and burglary of a vehicle in Smith County in 1997.  As a convicted felon, Smith is prohibited by federal law from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition.  Smith was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sep. 15, 2011. 
This case was 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 DEA and the Smith County Sheriff's Office and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Baldwin.


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