DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Texas

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Brit Featherston
, United States Attorney

Tyler Gang Member Sentenced for Federal Firearms Violation

TYLER, Texas – A Tyler man has been sentenced to federal prison for a firearms violation in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.

Brandon Deshun Hawkins, 36, pleaded guilty on Sep. 29, 2021, to being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle on August 16, 2022.

According to court documents, on Oct. 13, 2020, Hawkins was stopped while driving on S. Vine Street in Tyler and arrested on outstanding warrants. During the traffic stop, Hawkins threw a plastic bag containing marijuana from the vehicle, resulting in a probable cause search of the vehicle. During the search, officers discovered a pistol between the driver’s seat and center console. Further investigation revealed Hawkins is a member of the Eight Trey Gangster Crips, a criminal street gang, and a convicted felon with five prior convictions for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon from a 2008 Tyler shooting. As a convicted felon, Hawkins is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition. Hawkins was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 17, 2021.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

This case was investigated by the Tyler Police Department, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lucas Machicek.

Dallas Field Division