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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Minnesota

For Immediate Release

February 21, 2012

B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney

Contact: Jeanne F. Cooney, Director of Community Relations
(612) 664-5611

Big Lake Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Two Nine–Millimeter Pistols

MINNEAPOLIS — Earlier today in federal court, a 31–year–old felon pleaded guilty to possessing two nine–millimeter pistols. Bryan Wallace Burford, of Big Lake, pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Burford, who was indicted on December 20, 2011, entered his plea before United States District Court Judge David S. Doty.

In his plea agreement, Burford admitted that on August 18, 2011, he possessed the two pistols. On that date, he was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) at a Brooklyn Park motel on outstanding state fugitive warrants. A loaded pistol was found in his waistband. Then, during the execution of a search warrant in the hotel room, authorities found the second gun, along with an extended magazine holding 23 rounds of ammunition.

Because he is a felon, Burford is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms at any time. His prior convictions include possession of a short–barreled gun (2002), felony theft (2006), third–degree possession of a controlled substance (2003 and again in 2007), and fifthdegree possession of a controlled substance (2005).

For his crime, Burford faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in prison. Judge Doty will determine his sentence at a future hearing.

This case is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the USMS. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey S. Paulsen.

Note, this case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), an initiative launched by the U.S. Justice Department in 2001 to promote a multi–jurisdictional, comprehensive approach to reducing gun crime in America. PSN provides resources to strengthen law enforcement and crime prevention partnerships that are working to make our streets and communities safer.