• 57°

Reserve man faces life in jail after traffic stop yields drugs, guns

NEW ORLEANS – Illegal vehicle tinting could prove the straw that broke the camel’s back for a Reserve man facing decades in prison.

Brian Burns, 34, pleaded guilty Thursday to possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, authorities linking him to an October traffic stop that netted hundreds of grams of methamphetamine and numerous weapons.

According to U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans, Burns faces between five years behind bars and life imprisonment.

Potential fines could total in the millions.

Judge Nanette Jolivette Brown set Burns’ sentencing for May 17.

Evans, through a press release, praised the Drug Enforcement Administration and St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office for their work.

According to a Factual Basis of the case released in conjunction with the guilty plea, Deputy Galen Joseph, working criminal interdiction patrol with canine Fox, observed a Nissan Altima driving along Airline Highway at 7:20 p.m. Oct. 22 with illegal tint.

A traffic stop followed, with the driver, later identified as Burns, exiting the vehicle.

When Joseph walked toward the vehicle, he noted an AR-15 rifle.

Fox’s “free air sniff” detected narcotics, leading to additional discoveries. Authorities said Burns possessed a Remington Model AR-15, .223 caliber semi-automatic assault rifle; a Kel-Tec Model Tec-9, 9mm caliber semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine; and a Taurus Model 738 TCP, .380 caliber, semi-automatic pistol.

Other confiscated items included approximately 240 grams of a shard-like substance consistent with crystal meth, approximately five grams of a green leafy substance consistent with marijuana, approximately three grams of a white powder consistent with cocaine and several strips of Suboxone without a prescription.

Authorities said Burns confessed to the items being his, telling police he received the meth from Dallas drug traffickers.

Authorities said each of the seized firearms were manufactured outside of Louisiana and brought into the state.