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A Gainesville man was recently sentenced to 272 months in federal prison for firearms violations.

William Randall Brannan, 39, received his sentence Thursday, July 8, by U.S. District Judge Sean D. Jordan in the Eastern District of Texas. He was convicted by a jury on Feb. 21, 2020, of being a felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, states a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Texas.

“Getting firearms out of the hands of prohibited persons is a critical part of the department’s efforts to reduce violent crime in our neighborhoods,” acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei said. “[Thursday’s] sentence sends a strong message that violent criminals who utilize firearms to deal narcotics will be aggressively prosecuted and held accountable to [the] fullest extent of the law.”

In January 2019, Brannan, while delivering methamphetamine, discharged a firearm in a Gainesville residence, and again outside the home, while attempting to intimidate others into returning methamphetamine which he believed had been stolen from him.

On Feb. 28, 2019, Brannan was found in Arlington and fled as law enforcement officers attempted to arrest him.

He led police on a high-speed chase before crashing the vehicle. The release did not indicate what type of vehicle he was driving during the chase. However, the gun used in the Gainesville shooting was found in the vehicle, officials said.

Further investigation revealed Brannan was a convicted felon and prohibited from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition. Brannan was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 14, 2019.

Brannan’s case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project Safe Neighborhoods Program.

PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime, officials said. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of the strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

The case was investigated by the Cooke County Sheriff’s Office, the Arlington Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Cooke County Sheriff Ray Sappington said Monday, July 12, that he didn’t have anything to add about the case since it was taken over by federal authorities. Sappington wasn’t sheriff at the time, either.

Brannan’s case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Johnson and Chris Eason.

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