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Date: 12-08-2023

Case Style:

United States of America v. Russell Rice

Case Number: 22-CR-01727

Judge: Anne T. Berton

Court: United States District Court for the Western District of Texas (El Paso County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in El Paso

Defendant's Attorney:

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Description: El Paso, Texas criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendant charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a felon in violation of "18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).

On June 5, 2022, local law enforcement was dispatched to an El Paso gentlemen's club after receiving a call about a gun fight in the front parking area of the club. Law enforcement officers responded to the scene and obtained surveillance video from both outside and inside the establishment. The video showed Rice walking outside of the club, crouching down, and then jumping up while discharging what appeared to be a firearm. Muzzle flashes from the firearm discharged by Rice were visible in the video.

Following the shooting, additional surveillance video footage from the club captured Rice running into the premises, entering an office area not covered by video surveillance, and subsequently leaving the establishment. This video recorded a club employee entering the off-camera office and emerging with a firearm shortly after Rice had left the same space. The employee turned that firearm over to law enforcement once law enforcement arrived at the scene.

The firearm was a functioning Smith & Wesson, Bodyguard 380, .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol. Outside of the establishment, law enforcement officers recovered two .380 ACP caliber Tulammo casings from the area where video surveillance captured Rice standing. Both these casings, as well as the recovered pistol, were test fired with the results processed through the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network. The result of these tests was a presumptive match between both the shell casings and the pistol.

During a subsequent interview by law enforcement regarding the June 5, 2022 shoot-out at the club, Rice admitted to both possessing a firearm at that establishment as well as discharging it. Record checks by law enforcement officers revealed that prior to June 5, 2022, Rice had been convicted of several felony offenses, including a Texas conviction for Manufacturing or Delivery of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 1, 1-to-4 grams. That state conviction resulted in a sentence of two years confinement.

Outcome: Motion to Dismiss overruled.

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