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A Little Rock man who drove up to a storage unit in 2017 while detectives were waiting to search it, leading to his arrest for having drugs and guns in both the unit and the vehicle, is now facing at least 45 years in federal prison.

On Wednesday, a federal jury in Little Rock convicted Brian Barron, 38, of all five charges he faced as a result of the Oct. 18, 2017, arrest outside U-Haul Moving and Storage at 6501 Geyer Springs Road.

Members of the FBI's Get-Rock Task Force were alerted to Barron's activities and the storage locker by his live-in girlfriend, who is the mother of his children, after she reported earlier that day that he had fired a gun at her and hit her in the head with a machine gun. Court documents say that when Little Rock police arrived in the 800 block of West 28th Street in response to a call about the assault, they found two spent .45-caliber casings.

Armed with information that Barron, a convicted felon, carried guns regularly and was dealing heroin and methamphetamine, officers went to the storage facility, where they were told Barron stored narcotics and guns.

A drug-detecting police dog, Onyx, sniffed several lockers and alerted to the odor of drugs in the vicinity of the locker that was rented by Barron, according to a police affidavit. It said the officers submitted the information to Hugh Finkelstein, a Little Rock district judge, as probable cause for a search warrant, and a task-force officer guarded the locker while Finkelstein considered the request.

That officer, Kevin Webb of the Arkansas State Police, soon saw a gold Yukon XL pull into the parking lot, back up to the storage facility and park, according to the affidavit. It says Webb then saw Barron enter the storage facility with a young boy, and Webb and another officer followed Barron as he unlocked the padlock on the locker under surveillance and opened the locker door.

[RELATED: Click here for interactive map + full coverage of crime in Little Rock]

The officers spotted a black scoped rifle, which later turned out to be a BB gun, propped against the interior wall of the locker, and arrested Barron. Meanwhile, another police dog, Brix, alerted to an odor of drugs on the driver's side of the Yukon.

Inside the Yukon, police found a stolen Bushmaster rifle wrapped in a garbage bag along with a loaded 100-round drum of ammunition. A Mac 10 .45-caliber machine pistol, loaded with a 30-round magazine, was found in a backpack on the rear floorboard, along with two additional 30-round magazines.

Police also found cocaine, over 40 grams of methamphetamine, 26 capsules of heroin and various pills in the vehicle, as well as other pills and drug paraphernalia in the storage locker, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

A jury in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge James Moody Jr. convicted Barron after a two-day trial of all five charges he faced: being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of 5 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possession of a machine gun.

Because of two drug-related convictions in Pulaski County Circuit Court and a federal conviction for possession with intent to distribute phencyclidine, often called PCP, involving a firearm, Barron now faces a minimum sentence of 45 years when sentenced at a later date. Parole is not available for federal sentences.

The convictions were announced by Cody Hiland, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Diane Upchurch, special agent in charge of the FBI's Little Rock field office.

Metro on 10/04/2019

Print Headline: LR man found guilty of gun, drug charges

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