Second Tyler man guilty in oil field explosives theft

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 1:11pm

TYLER, Texas - A 30-year-old Tyler man has pleaded guilty to federal firearms violations in the Eastern District of Texas announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Brandon Keith Uzzel pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with theft of explosives from a federally licensed dealer before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith Guthrie on Sep. 14, 2010.

According to information presented in court, on Sep. 25, 2009, Uzzel was involved in the burglary of a locked storage unit at Owens Oil Tools, a Tyler oil field equipment company. The secured storage unit contained approximately 400 pounds of explosives, which were taken from the property and hidden. All of the explosives have since been recovered and secured. Craig Elroy Knight, 34, of Tyler, pleaded guilty to the same charges on Sep. 8, 2010.

Uzzel faces up to 10 years in federal prison and is in custody pending sentencing.

This case is being 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 is being investigated by the ATF, the FBI, the Smith County Sheriff's Office, and the Tyler Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Middleton.


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