CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The Butler County brothers indicted by a federal grand jury on weapons charges last week appeared in U.S. District court in Cape Girardeau on Tuesday afternoon.
David Rush, 55, and his 50-year-old brother John share the same attorney and the same not guilty plea.
The Rush's turned themselves in to the U.S. Marshal Service around noon, and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Abbie Crites-Leoni at 2:15 p.m.
Both men entered the courtroom in handcuffs and leg shackles. Both are being represented by Poplar Bluff attorney Daniel Moore, who entered pleas of not guilty for both men.
The judge questioned the brothers for several minutes about the possible pitfalls of using the same attorney, but ultimately allowed it.
The elder Rush is accused of engaging in the business of selling firearms without a license from March of 2011 to October of 2012, along with a charge of selling a firearm to an out-of-state buyer without a license in August of 2011. He faces up to five years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine if convicted.
The younger Rush also stands accused of engaging in the business of selling firearms without a license from March of 2011 to April 23, 2014, along with a charge of selling a firearm to an out-of-state buyer without a license in March of 2011.
He faces the same possible punishment as his brother on the first two counts. John Rush also faces a charge of selling a firearm to a convicted felon. That charge comes with a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Sorrell is prosecuting the case against both men. He told the court there are hours of video recordings involving alleged weapons deals made by both men, along with hundreds of pages of court documents.
Moore says he is in the early stages of the case and, after reviewing the information, would make a statement on his clients' behalf if they wanted him to.
Judge Crites-Leoni ordered unsecured bonds of $10,000 for both men, and cautioned them to follow the requirements of their bond, including removing any firearms from their homes, even if they belonged to family members. Several family members attended the afternoon court appearance.
The Rush's will be back in federal court at the end of June.