58ºF

Jacksonville brothers sentenced to prison for drug, gun crimes

Convicted felons Brian and Allen Branch plead guilty to selling crack

Left to right - Allen Branch, Brian Branch

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two Jacksonville brothers will be serving time in federal prison. Allen Pernell Branch, 32, was sentenced Friday to five years and six months for distributing crack cocaine. His brother, Brian Nathaniel Branch, 33, will spend 10 years and 10 months in prison for distributing crack cocaine and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Allen Branch pleaded guilty in April. His brother, Brian Branch, pleaded guilty in June.

Both are convicted felons and were associated with a drug house on West 22nd Street, according to documents.

Prosecutors say on two occasions, Allen Branch cooked powder cocaine into crack cocaine and then sold it to a confidential informant who was working at the direction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

The report says on another occasion, Brian Branch sold crack cocaine to the confidential informant at an apartment in Arlington. During that transaction, Brian Branch displayed a pistol to the confidential informant. The gun was recovered when ATF raided the apartment. Brian Branch's previous felony convictions include possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, aggravated assault, four counts of possession of cocaine and attempted robbery. As a convicted felon, he is prohibited from having a gun or ammunition under federal law.

This was another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Neighborhoods program, which is a nationwide crime-reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities.