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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Louisiana
Brandon B. Brown, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Friday, April 5, 2024

Possession of Machine Guns Results in Federal Prison Sentences for Two Men

SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced the sentencing of two men for illegally possessing machine guns. Tedric Deshun Ratcliff, 30, of Shreveport, and Elijah D. Brown, 24, of Fort Worth, Texas, have been sentenced by United States District Judge S. Maurice Hicks, Jr.

Tedric Deshun Ratcliff was sentenced to 57 months in prison and Elijah D. Brown was sentenced to 42 months in prison.  Both defendants will serve 3 years of supervised release following their release from prison.  The sentence imposed by Judge Hicks for Brown was an upward departure from the proposed 18-24 month guideline range based on the United States Sentencing Commission’s guidelines.

According to information presented in court, on September 23, 2022, officers with the Shreveport Police Department responded to an armed persons call at the Peach Street Apartments in Shreveport. Upon arrival, officers observed an individual carrying an AR-style rifle get into the rear driver’s side of a vehicle in the parking lot of the apartment complex. The officers made contact with the armed passenger and asked him to step out of the vehicle and observed the AR-style rifle on the floorboard. Officers then ordered the driver, later determined to be Ratcliff, out of the vehicle. A search of the vehicle was conducted, and officers found three firearms, a Glock .40 caliber pistol with an extended magazine, a Glock 9mm pistol with extended magazine, and the Palmetto Arms 7.62 AR rifle which had previously been seen by officers. Through their investigation, officers learned that two of the firearms had been reported as stolen.  The Palmetto Arms AR rifle was found to have a drop-in auto sear, a conversion device, inserted inside of it and was determined to be registered to Brown.

In addition, officers located a small backpack containing prescribed medication and identification for Brown. Under the backpack was a tan Glock 19 9mm pistol with a Glock switch, a conversion device, installed. The firearm was registered to Brown. Law enforcement agents retrieved photos from Brown’s phone of him holding the tan Glock firearm with the switch installed.  A records search of the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR) showed that the Glock switches were not registered, and Brown had no other registrations.

Brown was charged with possession of a machine gun and possession of a firearm not registered to him in NFRTR.  Ratcliff was charged with unlawful possession of a machine gun.

“These sentences imposed by the court should send a strong message to those in our community that individuals who possess these illegal machine guns will get stiff sentences,” said U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown. “Together with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, we will continue to weed out these bad seeds in our communities.”

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Shreveport Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Aaron Crawford.

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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. PSN is part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime. To learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods, go to

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