Authorities arrest Houston brothers on sealed federal charges

Authorities arrest Houston brothers on sealed federal charges

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Clifford Leon Houston (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Clifford Leon Houston (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
Rocky Houston (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Rocky Houston (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Two brothers charged but never convicted of first degree murder of a deputy and former police officer back in 2006 were arrested on Friday night on sealed federal charges.

Clifford Leon Houston and Rocky Houston were booked into the Knox County Jail Saturday morning. The Houston family told 6 News that on Friday night, law enforcement blocked off Barnard Narrows Road in Ten Mile, where the brothers live. The Houston family also told 6 News they still don't know what Leon and Rocky have been charged with.

The Houston's are currently being held by U.S. Marshals. Officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also played a role in making the arrest. 

U.S. Attorney William Killian said the federal charges will be unsealed when the Houston's go to court.

Willis Hall has been neighbors to the Houston family his entire life. His kids grew up with Leon and Rocky Houston.

"Them boys over there, they are just good people there's nothing wrong with them," said Hall.

Hall was surprised to hear of their arrest.

"They are falsely accused. They didn't do anything to bring these charges on them no," he said.

Some in the community don't agree with Hall. Several people told 6 News the Houston brothers belong behind bars for the 2006 shooting that happened on Houston's property. Many who spoke to 6 News didn't want to show their face on camera out of fear for their safety.

One Kingston resident said, "I believe they are very dangerous people. I don't believe that the cops were harassing them like a lot of people around here do. I think they were basically doing their job."

In August 2012, the brothers put up a yard display of deceased police officers in Roane County.

The display included pictures of Roane County Deputy Bill Jones and Mike Brown, a former police officer and friend of Jones, who were killed in a shootout with the Houston brothers in May of 2006.

District Attorney Russell Johnson said in a statement, "I congratulate the ATF, U.S. Attorney's Office and RCSO on apprehending Rocky Houston on the federal charge, apparently without incident. I look forward to the outcome of his federal prosecution."

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