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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Middle District of Florida

For Immediate Release

April 27, 2011

Robert E. O'Neill, United States Attorney

Contact: William Daniels, Director of Community Relations
(813) 274-6388

Haines City Man Sentenced for Possession of Drugs and Ammunition

Tampa, Florida— U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces that U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore yesterday sentenced Sandchase Cody (37, Haines City) to 24 years and 6 months in federal prison for distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and being a felon in possession of ammunition, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).

A federal jury found Cody guilty on April 1, 2010, after four days of trial. According to trial testimony, Cody sold cocaine to a confidential informant on multiple dates. During the execution of a search warrant on Cody's residence, law enforcement seized large amounts of marijuana, cocaine and crack cocaine, along with scales, baggies used to package the drugs, ammunition, and multiple photographs of Cody holding a firearm. Prior to trial, it was discovered that Cody was attempting to tamper with government witnesses, encouraging some to change their trial testimony and discouraging others from attending the trial. Cody has numerous prior convictions for drug related and violent felony offenses.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stacie B. Harris.

It is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods program – a nationwide, gun–violence reduction strategy led by ATF. United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill, along with Virginia O’Brien, Special Agent–in–Charge, ATF, is coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida, in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.