JC couple sentenced for illgeal firearms, tampering with evidence

A Jefferson City husband and wife were sentenced in federal court Wednesday for the husband’s illegal possession of firearms and the wife’s tampering with evidence.

Andrew David Brandwein, 39, of Jefferson City, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole, the maximum penalty for violating the federal statute.

Brandwein was found guilty of being a felon in possession of firearms on Aug. 14, 2013. Evidence introduced during the trial indicated that Brandwein was in possession of six firearms – a Marlin .22 magnum caliber rifle, a Harrington and Richardson .223-caliber rifle, a Weatherby .300 SBY Mag. rifle, a New England Firearms 10-gauge shotgun, a Rossi .30-06 Springfield rifle and a Harrington and Richardson .410 shotgun – on Jan. 8, 2011.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Brandwein has three prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and prior felony convictions for attempting to manufacture a controlled substance, possession of a precursor drug with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a concealable firearm and the distribution, delivery, sale or manufacture of a controlled substance.

His wife, Debra Louise Brandwein, 55, was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison without parole. She pleaded guilty on Aug. 9, 2013, to tampering with evidence after admitting that she cleaned two jars that contained methamphetamine in order to protect her husband from prosecution.

Law enforcement officers were dispatched to the Brandwein’s residence on Jan. 8, 2011, when a large barn on the property caught on fire. Officers knocked on the door but received no response. After they used the keys from a truck parked near the barn to enter the house, Andrew Brandwein came out of the back bedroom, and appeared disoriented and confused. Debra Brandwein arrived at the residence a short time later. While in the residence, officers found five firearms sitting on the floor next to a television stand. There was also a loaded Harrington and Richardson .223 rifle lying on the ground next to the truck near the barn.

Andrew Brandwein was arrested; officers found several .223 shells and $2,458 in his pants pockets.

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