BROWNSVILLE, TX - September 30, 2015 - A member of a citizen group known as “Rusty’s Rangers” or “Rusty’s Regulators” has been found guilty of four counts of felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Kevin Lyndel Massey, 48, of Quinlan was found guilty this afternoon following a bench trial before the U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen.
According to court records, the group consisted of citizens who mounted armed patrols in the Rio Grande area allegedly in search of and to possibly apprehend aliens attempting to enter the U.S. illegally. On Aug. 29, 2014, law enforcement agents were pursuing suspected illegal aliens in heavy brush when they encountered an individual of the group. A Border Patrol agent allegedly perceived him as a threat and discharged his weapon, but did not strike the armed citizen.
Massey, following the shooting, arrived in the area armed with a .45 caliber pistol and a 7.62 x 39 mm rifle. According to court records, he was thereafter identified by law enforcement who learned of his prior criminal history which included burglary. Because of this criminal history, Massey is prohibited from possessing a firearm.
The court heard that Massey was later arrested Oct. 20, 2014, outside a motel in Brownsville. At the time, according to trial testimony, he was armed with a .45 caliber pistol, while another .45 caliber pistol was thereafter located in his motel room. At that time, more than 2600 rounds of ammunition were seized in connection with the search of his truck and motel room.
Judge Hanen has set sentencing for Jan. 4, 2016, at which time he faces up to 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. He will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Cameron County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Hagen and Jason Corley prosecuted the case.
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas
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