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Federal jury convicts JC man for guns

Brandwein acquitted on drug charges

A federal jury Wednesday convicted a Jefferson City man of being a felon in possession of firearms.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Western Missouri prosecuted Andrew David Brandwein, 39, Jefferson City, on two federal charges included in a grand jury’s indictment: possessing six weapons illegally and making methamphetamine.

But, after about 21⁄2 hours of deliberation Wednesday, jurors convicted Brandwein only on the weapons charge and found him not guilty of the drug-making indictment.

Under federal law, Brandwein could be sentenced to up to 10 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000.

His sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the U.S. Probation Office finishes its presentence investigation.

Federal law makes it illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition, and Brandwein has multiple prior felony convictions on drug charges.

He also was convicted of unlawful possession of a concealable firearm.

Evidence during this week’s trial indicated that Brandwein had six firearms on Jan. 8, 2011.

The weapons were found when law officers and firefighters were called to a barn fire on the Brandwein property in eastern Cole County.

Officers knocked on the home’s door but received no response, spokesman Don Ledford said, so they used keys from a truck parked near the barn to enter the house.

They reported that Brandwein came out of the back bedroom, appearing disoriented and confused.

Five firearms were found in the house, next to a television stand. Two other weapons were on the ground next to the truck.

When he was arrested, Brandwein was carrying several .223 shells and had $2,458 in his pants pockets.

Brandwein’s wife, Debra, 54, pleaded guilty on Aug. 9 to tampering with evidence, admitting that she cleaned two jars that contained methamphetamine in order to protect her husband from prosecution.

She has not been sentenced.

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