TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A Tyler gang member has been sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for a firearms violation, according to officials.

Brandon Deshun Hawkins, 36, pled guilty on Sept. 29, 2021 to being a felon in possession of a firearm, and was sentenced on Tuesday.

According to court documents, in 2020 Hawkins was stopped while driving on Vine Street in Tyler and arrested on outstanding warrants. Officials said during the traffic stop, Hawkins threw a plastic bag containing marijuana from the vehicle resulting in a probable cause search.

A pistol was found in the car during the search, and officials said further investigations found Hawkins to be a member of the Eight Trey Gangster Crips, a street gang. Hawkins is a convicted felon with five prior convictions for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon from a 2008 Tyler shooting.

Officials said this case is a part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program meant to bring together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and gun violence in communities.

Hawkins was indicted in May 2021, and the case was investigated by the Tyler Police Department, Smith County Sheriff’s Office and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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