MEMPHIS, TN – On June 9, 2020, a federal grand jury indicted Bruce Matthews, 27, on several charges, including engaging in a firearms business without a license. D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney announced the indictment today.
According to information presented in court, between November of 2019 and January of 2020, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted a criminal investigation of Matthews for engaging in the business of firearms dealing without a license; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; possession of a firearm by an unlawful drug user; use or carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense, and distribution of methamphetamine.
During the course of this investigation, ATF special agents while undercover conducted several controlled purchases of firearms and methamphetamine from Matthews, recording each transaction.
If convicted on counts 1, 2, 3, Matthews faces sentences on each of up to 5 years imprisonment; a $ 250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release. On counts 4, 5, 6, and 7, he faces sentences of each of up to 10 years imprisonment; a fine of $ 250,000 and 3 years supervised release. On count 8, he faces an additional sentence of up to 5 years imprisonment; a $ 250,000 fine and 5 years supervised release. On counts 9 and 10, he faces sentences on each of up to 40 years imprisonment; a $5,000,000 fine and 4 years supervised release.
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: "Under the new Project Guardian initiative announced by Attorney General Barr in Memphis in November, 2019 https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdtn/pr/attorney-general-announces-launch-project-guardian-nationwide-strategic-plan-reduce-gun, we have intensified our focus on removing firearms from the hands of prohibited persons, and removing dangerous offenders from our streets. We have no better partner in this fight against gun crime than the ATF, and under Project Guardian, we will aggressively investigate and prosecute the trigger-pullers, traffickers, straw purchasers, and prohibited persons who violate federal firearms laws in West Tennessee."
This case was being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy K. Cornejo is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.