Russell Brothers Jr., of Burns, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Nashville Wednesday, in a five-count indictment charging him with being a felon in unlawful possession of 16 firearms and two separate attempts to obstruct justice.
According to the indictment, in April 2012, Brothers illegally possessed a number of firearms, including rifles, shotguns and handguns. Due to prior felony convictions for drug trafficking and money laundering Brothers wasn’t allowed to be in possession of such weapons.
Brothers, 75, has had previous brushes with the law. In the 1990's he was convicted of drug smuggling and money laundering, once allegedly stole a friend’s plane and held it for ransom, and most recently crash-landed a vintage 1961 Beechcraft twin-engine plane at the closed Cornelia Fort Airpark on a return flight from Miami but left without reporting it.
The indictment also alleges that Brothers obstructed justice in two ways.
Brothers allegedly provided another individual with a false version of events related to the investigation in order to influence testimony. Later, Brothers allegedly attempted to hide one of the guns from federal investigators.
If convicted on the firearms charge, Brothers faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. If convicted of obstructing justice, Brothers faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Aviation Administration joined in the investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Alex Little is representing the government.