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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Eastern District of Texas

For Immediate Release

September 11, 2013

John M. Bales, United States Attorney

Contact: Davilyn Walston
(409) 839-2538

North Texas Men Guilty of Federal Firearms Violations

TYLER, Texas — Two North Texas men have pleaded guilty to federal firearms violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Colten David Barrow, 22, of Quinlan, Texas, and Craig Marcus Cooper, 42, of Farmersville, Texas, each pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love. Barrow pleaded guilty to attempting to sell a machinegun and Cooper pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a machinegun.

According to information presented in court, on Jan. 31, 2012, Barrow and Cooper traveled together to Duke’s Truck Stop on Highway 64 in Van Zandt County, Texas to meet an individual interested in buying the machinegun. The defendants intended to sell the firearm to the individual for $10,000. However, the buyer was actually an undercover federal agent. The defendants were detained and the 9 mm, fully automatic machine gun with an attached silencer was seized. Further investigation revealed Cooper was a felon having been previously convicted of felony criminal mischief in Collin County, Texas in 2011. Federal law prohibits convicted felons from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition. A federal grand jury returned an indictment on Mar. 27, 2013, charging the defendants with firearms violations.

Barrow and Cooper each face up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set. A third defendant is awaiting trial.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition and body armor, and improving the safety of residents in the Eastern District of Texas. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Noble.