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Press Release

Obion County Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Unlawful Possession of Firearms, Silencers, and Machine Guns

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

Jackson, TN – Bobby Joe Brown, 42, of Obion County, Tennessee has been sentenced to 30 months in 
federal prison for unlawfulpossession of firearms, silencers and machine guns. United States 
Attorney Kevin G. Ritz announced the sentence today.

According to information presented in court, on August 7, 2018, officers with the Union City Police 
Department and agents with the 27th Judicial Drug Task Force and the Tennessee Bureau of 
Investigation received information that the defendant, Bobby Joe Brown, had previously sold three 
guns, one of which was stolen. Officers went to Brown's residence in South Fulton to speak with him 
regarding the stolen gun. Brown agreed to speak with the officers, and he also allowed them to 
search his home.

During the search, officers found a small mill/drill combo machine that appeared to have been used 
on multiple occasions to mill and drill aluminum. Officers also observed an 80% lower receiver 
lying on top of a workshop table, multiple books on fully automatic firearm and suppressor 
manufacturing, and a plastic tote on the floor that contained several different lengths of black 
painted pipe that was threaded on either end, along with flashlight tubes and freeze plugs.  
Officers also located several firearms, including handguns and rifles, along with many AR-15 parts, 
including assembled upper and lower parts kits used to fully assemble AR-15 lower receivers. One 
gun, a Dan Wesson .357 revolver, was found in a closet wrapped in a latex glove. That gun was 
reported stolen in 2008 from Obion County.

Officers also located a total of four completed suppressors, and one partially completed 
suppressor, one lightning link, and one drop-in auto sear (the latter items are devices that are 
used to turn semi-automatic AR-15 rifles into fully automatic weapons). Officers seized all items 
related to Brown's manufacturing of firearms, along with a small amount
of methamphetamine and other assorted drug paraphernalia found throughout the home.

Brown admitted to making homemade silencers and machine guns. He said he conducted on-line research and had books to assist him in making the machine guns and silencers and did not think it was 
illegal to do so. Brown further admitted that he bought and used methamphetamine regularly.

On April 15, 2022, Brown pled guilty to the 15-count indictment in this case charging him with 
various firearms-related violations.

On October 14, 2022, Chief United States District Judge S. Thomas Anderson sentenced Brown to 30 
months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. There is no parole in the 
federal system.

Although Brown was not a convicted felon at the time he possessedthe firearms and other related 
items in this case, and had very little documented criminal history, the Court determined that a 2 
1/2-year prison sentence was warranted here, particularly because of the number of firearms and 
other related items possessed by Brown, the fact that Brown had manufactured silencers and had 
converted some of the firearms to fully automatic weapons, and because Brown was an active user of  
methamphetamine while  he manufactured and possessed these items.

This case was investigated by the Union City Police Department, the 27th Judicial Drug Task Force, 
the TBI and the ATF.

United States Attorney Kevin Ritz thanked Assistant United States Attorney Josh Morrow, who 
prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.


For more information, please contact Public Information Officer Cherri Green at 901-544-4231 or Follow@WDTNNews on Twitter for office news and updates.

Updated April 19, 2023