Williamson County Court at Law #2 Judge Timothy L. Wright III found himself on the wrong end of a nine count federal indictment. He has been charged with allegedly selling guns to a known felon, helping export those guns, and they lying on the paperwork and to a federal agent about the entire affair. The Judge spent a night in jail earlier this week and is now out.
Wright and his lawyer, Jeff Senter, maintain his innocence and say that Wright is a federally licensed firearms dealer and was at the time of the events specified in the indictment.
The eleven page indictment (attached below) received by Breitbart Texas has nine counts. The first three involving selling 7 different pistols to a man the government says Wright knew was a felon, having served more than a year in prison and legally unable to own or possess a firearm.
Two counts involve Wright helping the man transport the guns to Mexico, followed by two counts of falsifying information on the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Form 4473, the “yellow sheet” that every firearms purchase from a licensed firearms dealer involves. The ATF says the paperwork shows that Wright would be the owner of the pistols, when in fact, he was conducting a “straw” purchase for a client. The ATF considers a “straw” purchase to be when a person who is legally eligible to purchase a firearm does so for a person they know is not legally allowed to purchase or possess a firearm. The ATF set up a program called “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” to help educate the public about this crime.
The last two counts involve Wright lying to an ATF investigator trying to track down these handguns.
Wrights home in Georgetown was raided by the ATF on March 27th. They seized more than 50 pistols with brand names like Smith & Wesson, Glock, Sig-Sauer, Colt and Beretta. Also seized were three of the six Zastava M92PV he bought at a store in Georgetown. While the ATF lists them as “pistols,” they are a cut down version of the AK-47, firing the full size 7.62 x 39 Russian ammunition. Manufactured without a shoulder stock the weapon functions exactly as those used by enemy troops since the Korean War, including Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. They pack serious firepower and that type of rifle is used by Mexican drug gangs on a daily basis. Breitbart Texas reported about guns of this type being used in a cartel ambush of 15 Mexican police officers.
Wright has been a county court at law judge since 2003, where he handles the majority of DWI and drug cases for Williamson County.
Wright spent a night in the Travis County Jail on Tuesday and was released from federal custody on Wednesday afternoon. He was forced to surrender his passport and agree to stipulations on his release including no contact or dealing with any firearms, and no travel outside Williamson, Travis or Hays County.
Judge Wright could be looking at an aggregate sentence of 70 years, plus fines .f found guilty on all the charges.
Breitbart Texas spoke with several gun dealers not involved in the case. They all expressed surprise over different elements of the indictment — the “Strawman” [industry slang] purchase being the biggest “red flag.” One dealer summing it up said “Any dealer knows to avoid that mess”, another saying that “That someone in a position of the Judge would find themselves in violation of the paperwork requirements, and then committing perjury on top of that…makes you wonder.”
While Judge Wright’s home was raided, the ATF requires that licensed gun dealers have a place of business, with proper and secure storage for the firearms they sell. One dealer said “The days of someone working from their kitchen table are gone…have been for years.” The wholesale value on the seized firearms tops $15,000 and a retail value around $25-30,000.
The indictment calls for the forfeiture of all the guns, the Judge’s Ford F-150 pickup truck and more than $42,000 made in the targeted transactions.
Judge Wright has been suspended from hearing any additional cases by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, according to a report on KXAN TV. Wright will appear for an arraignment before federal Judge Mark Lane on April 15.
Rob Milford is a news contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Facebook.