Probation follows illegal weapon arrest; criminal history still under review

Published 12:12 am Saturday, June 17, 2017

LAPLACE — Possessing a stolen machine gun led to a guilty plea and probation for a local man, but authorities maintain they are still looking into the weapon’s potential criminal history.

Andrew Brown, 25, of LaPlace was arrested Dec. 8 following a traffic stop and short pursuit on U.S. 51.

Andrew Brown

St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies said a search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a stolen AR-15 rifle and spent 9 mm casings.

At the time, Brown was charged with illegal possession of a stolen firearm, flight from an officer, contempt of court, operating a vehicle with a suspended license, speeding and switched plates.

St. John District Attorney Bridget A. Dinvaut said Brown pleaded guilty May 17 to illegal possession of a stolen firearm and received three years active probation, a $1,000 fine, $315 in court costs and a mandatory $550 reimbursement to the public defender’s office.

At the time of Brown’s arrest, Sheriff Mike Tregre noted the rifle included an extended, drum-style magazine and attempts would be made to investigate the weapon and shell casings for a possible crime history.

The Sheriff’s Office reiterated to L’OBSERVATEUR this month the weapon was submitted for testing to the Louisiana State Police crime lab Dec. 14 and local authorities are awaiting results, “which should be received in the near future.”

Dinvaut said Brown could face additional charges depending on what evidence is presented.

“If that gun is involved in a different crime or could have been involved in a different crime, then there would have to be an independent investigation,” she said. “If that investigation led to evidence, then there would be a different charge.”