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story.lead_photo.caption Bryan Simmons

MARSHALL, Texas — An Atlanta, Texas, lawyer who was arrested smuggling methamphetamine into the Cass County jail last year has pleaded guilty to a federal criminal charge.

Bryan Lee Simmons, 49, appeared Monday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Roy Payne for a change of plea hearing at the federal courthouse in Marshall. Simmons pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Simmons' plea agreement includes a four-year prison sentence and an agreement to abstain from the practice of law for three years following his release, according to a news report issued by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas.

Simmons has been in custody since his arrest in August 2019. Following his arrest in August, Cass County District Attorney Courtney Shelton said Texas Rangers had been investigating Simmons for at least a month and had him under surveillance. At that time, Simmons was arrested on state drug and weapons charges.

A federal indictment charging Simmons in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas lists four counts including conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, and two counts of carrying a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

Federal prosecutors are expected to move to dismiss the remaining counts when Simmons appears for sentencing.

The State Bar of Texas website currently shows Simmons is eligible to practice law.

Simmons is represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender Kenneth Hawk. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Hornok is prosecuting.

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