A 34-year-old Groves, Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison for drug violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

        Billy Ray Brown pleaded guilty on July 13, 2011, to maintaining a drug involved premises and was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone.
According to information presented in court, on Dec. 20, 2010, law enforcement officers executed an arrest warrant for Brown for a parole violation at his residence in Groves.  Officers found Brown asleep in the residence and after taking him into custody, observed a white powder resembling methamphetamine near where he had been sleeping.  Further investigation revealed a loaded rifle and a methamphetamine lab in the residence.  Brown admitted to cooking and selling methamphetamine and told investigators he had been doing so for approximately 8 to 10 years.  At the time of this arrest, Brown was a convicted felon, having been previously found guilty of possession of a controlled substance in 1999, being a felon in possession of a firearm in 2007, and possession of a controlled substance in 2007, all in Jefferson County, Texas.  Brown was indicted by a federal grand jury on Mar. 2, 2011.
This case was 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 ATF and the Groves Police Department and prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Baylor Wortham.