Houston brothers in court on federal charges

Houston brothers in court on federal charges

Rocky Houston (Source: Knox County) Rocky Houston (Source: Knox County)
Leon Houston (Source: Knox County) Leon Houston (Source: Knox County)

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Rocky and Leon Houston, the two brothers charged and tried, but never convicted of first degree murder of a deputy and former police officer in 2006, were in court Monday on federal charges.

The two were arrested Friday night.

According to court documents, Rocky Houston was arrested after a federal Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco investigation determined he illegally owned guns, which he is not allowed to own because of a prior felony conviction.

Agents determined that Houston was in possession of the guns after setting up a surveillance camera on a public utility pole near his property.

After his arrest, federal investigators obtained a search warrant for his property. His brother, Leon Houston, also lives on the property in a mobile home.

When investigators went to serve the warrant, Leon Houston approached the officers on a four-wheeler with two armed rifles and a loaded handgun.

He was taken into custody. During questioning, he told federal officials he had been smoking "wacky tobacco," which investigators later determined was marijuana.

Federal agents also found drug paraphernalia in his mobile home.

After agents determined that the guns in Leon Houston's possession were not manufactured in Tennessee, he was charged with unlawful gun possession while being a user of a controlled substance.

On Monday morning, Rocky Houston was in federal court for an initial appearance.

He was disruptive and outspoken and stood up several times to address the judge and federal agents in the courtroom.

At one point, Rocky Houston yelled at the judge and claimed that his rights were being violated.

He ordered the judge to recuse himself, but the judge declined.

Houston was ordered to be held in federal detention. No new court date was set.

Leon Houston was in court on charges he owned a gun while in the possession of an illegal drug.  Leon was in federal court at 3:00 PM Monday. Judge Bruce Guyton swore him in and read him his rights.  Houston said the judge had a conflict of interest in the case. The judge said he would not recuse himself. The arraignment lasted 30 minutes.

If convicted, both of the Houston brothers face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. They will both be held in federal custody pending further proceedings. Leon will be back in court Friday morning for a detention and preliminary hearing. No word yet on Rocky's next court date.


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