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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Two Sent to Prison for Possessing Carter’s Country Stolen Guns

HOUSTON – Two Houston men found in possession of firearms stolen from Carter’s Country gun store in March 2016 have been ordered to federal prison, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Anthony D. Cannon, 21, and Tony L. Watkins, 24, pleaded guilty Sept. 2, 2016, to being felons in possession of a firearm.

 

Today, U.S. District Judge David Hittner ordered Cannon serve 46 months in federal prison, while Watkins received a 57-month sentence. Both men will also be required to serve three years of supervised release immediately following their release from prison. In handing down the sentence, Judge Hittner noted that both Cannon and Watkins had relatively high criminal histories despite their relative ages.

 

At approximately 4:30 a.m. on March 1, 2016, law enforcement responded to an alarm at the Carter’s Country gun store in Houston. Upon arrival, authorities noted the front doors had been busted open and the business had been ransacked. Numerous firearms had been stolen, including handguns, rifles and shot guns.

 

A truck appeared to have backed up to the front doors of the business. Store surveillance video showed an unknown individual who wrapped a chain around the doors and pulled the doors off the building. Approximately 11 suspects ran inside, broke the glass cabinets and stole 84 firearms.

 

Law enforcement soon discovered that some of the stolen firearms were being sold. They set up surveillance and eventually arrested both Cannon and Watkins who were found in possession of several of the stolen firearms. As convicted felons, both men are prohibited from possessing a firearm per federal law.

 

They have been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

 

No one has yet been charged in the Carter’s Country robbery. The investigation is ongoing.

 

A joint federal task force conducted the investigation that includes the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie N. Searle is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated May 2, 2017