Tampa Field Division

Federal Jury Convicts St. Petersburg Man for Ammunition and Drug Offenses

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Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury has found Tony Donnell Mathis (48, St. Petersburg) guilty of being a felon in possession of ammunition, and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack cocaine”). He faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 22, 2016.

Mathis was indicted in December 2014.

Jordanian Weapons Smuggler Sentenced to Prison

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Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich has sentenced Mahmoud Abdel-Ghani Mohammad Assaf (47, Amman, Jordan)to 33 months in federal prison for conspiring to export firearms and attempting to export firearms without a license, in violation of federal export control and firearms laws.  The Court also ordered Assaf to forfeit the firearms and vehicles that had been involved in the offenses.  He pleaded guilty on March 24, 2015.

Federal Jury Finds Cape Coral Man Guilty of Illegal Firearm Possession

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Fort Myers, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury has found Michael Terrill Faircloth (58, Cape Coral) guilty of possessing a firearm and ammunition after being convicted of a felony offense. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 2, 2016.

Faircloth was indicted on July 9, 2014. 

Two Men Charged in Gas Station Armed Robberies

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PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA – Zachary Tyler Hubbard and Jarrod Lonnie Moore, both 20, of Georgia, were arraigned today in federal court after a grand jury returned an indictment charging them with conspiracy, interfering with commerce by threats or violence, and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.  Hubbard was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.  The indictment was announced by Christopher P. Canova, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Courtnee Brantley Ordered to Begin Prison Sentence for Misprison of Felony Conviction

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Tampa, Florida - U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. today ordered Courtnee Brantley to surrender to the custody of the United States Marshal or to the institution designated by the Bureau of Prisons on January 4, 2016 to begin serving the 12 months and one day sentence imposed in June 2013. The Court’s Order follows the December 17, 2015 affirmance of Brantley’s conviction and sentence for misprision of felony by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, after a lengthy appeals process. 

Texas Man Who Smuggled Weapons to the Middle East Sentenced to Prison

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Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven has sentenced Eyad Farah (42, Barrington, TX) to three years and one month in federal prison for conspiring to export firearms without a license, exporting firearms without a license, and smuggling firearms from the United States.  The Court also ordered him to forfeit seven firearms that are traceable to the offenses.  Farah pleaded guilty on September 22, 2015.

 

Texas Man Who Smuggled Weapons to the Middle East Sentenced to Prison

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Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven has sentenced Eyad Farah (42, Barrington, TX) to three years and one month in federal prison for conspiring to export firearms without a license, exporting firearms without a license, and smuggling firearms from the United States.  The Court also ordered him to forfeit seven firearms that are traceable to the offenses.  Farah pleaded guilty on September 22, 2015.

Englewood Convicted Felon Indicted for Possessing a Firearm

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Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the return of an indictment charging Ernest L. Chambliss (44, Englewood) with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Chambliss has been charged as an Armed Career Criminal and faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years, up to life, in federal prison. The indictment also notifies him that the United States intends to forfeit the firearm used in the offense.

Fort Myers Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Armed Bank Robbery and Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Convicted Felon

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Fort Myers, Florida – U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell today sentenced Orental James Allen, Jr. (23, Ft. Myers) to 10 years in federal prison for armed bank robbery and possession of a firearm and ammunition. The Court also ordered him to forfeit a .40 caliber Sig Sauer P229 pistol and ammunition. Further, as part of his sentence, the Court entered a money judgment in the amount of $5,499, the proceeds of the armed bank robbery.

Allen pleaded guilty on August 19, 2015.

Palm Coast Man Sentenced to More Than 21 Years for Possessing a Machinegun and Silencer and Assaulting a Federal Officer

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Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron has sentenced Radbourne Mark Anthony Saleem (40, Palm Coast) to 21 years and 10 months in federal prison for possessing a machinegun and silencer and assaulting a federal officer. He pleaded guilty on November 5, 2014. 

Convicted Felon Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Selling Guns

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Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis has sentenced Alphonso Parker (36, Jacksonville) to 10 years in federal prison for being a convicted felon in possession of multiple firearms. He pleaded guilty on May 28, 2015.

According to court documents, between June and July 2014, Parker sold nine firearms to a confidential informant. At the time, Parker had prior felony convictions for battery, burglary, and aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, and therefore was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.

Sarasota Felon Sentenced to More Than Six Years for Possessing a Firearm

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Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore has sentenced Kevin Eugene McKnight (31, Sarasota) to six years and five months in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. He pleaded guilty on July 8, 2015.

According to court documents, in October 2014, McKnight sold a handgun and oxycodone pills to an undercover detective from the Sarasota Police Department. Prior to this incident, McKnight had multiple prior felony convictions. As a result, he was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

Pensacola Businessman Indicted on Multiple Federal Charges

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PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Herdeypal Singh Bhatti, 41, of Pensacola, was arraigned today in the U.S. District Court in Pensacola after a federal grand jury returned two separate indictments charging him with unlawfully attempting to procure naturalization and with wire and mail fraud. The indictments were announced by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Texas Man Charged with Conspiring to Smuggle Weapons to the Middle East

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Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Eyad Farah (41, Barrington, Texas) with conspiring to export firearms without a license, exporting firearms without a license, and smuggling firearms from the United States in violation of federal export control and firearms laws. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in federal prison for the conspiracy offense, up to 10 years’ imprisonment on the export charge, and up to 20 years in federal prison for the smuggling charge.

Jacksonville Sex Offender Pleads Guilty to Possession of Firearms by a Convicted Felon

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Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Daniel Todd Manning (43, Jacksonville) has pleaded guilty to possessing several firearms after having been convicted of felony child sex offenses in the State of Kansas.  He faces up to 10 years in federal prison. Manning has been in custody since his arrest on April 30, 2014, in Jacksonville. A sentencing hearing has not yet been set.

Kissimmee Man Pleads Guilty to Dealing in Firearms Without a License

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Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Colin Knight (54, Kissimmee) yesterday pleaded guilty to dealing in firearms without a license. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. Knight has also agreed to forfeit 32 firearms that he possessed or acquired during the commission of the offense. A sentencing date has not been set.

Tampa Man Sentenced to 29 Years for Armed Robbery

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Tampa, Florida – Senior U.S. District Judge U.S. District Court Judge Susan C. Bucklew today sentenced Shamorcus Brandan Nesbitt (28, Tampa) to 29 years in federal prison for conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, interference with commerce by robbery, carrying a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and being a felon in possession of firearm and ammunition. Nesbitt was found guilty by a federal jury on February 12, 2015.

Citrus County Convicted Felon Sentenced for Possession of 138 Firearms and Ammunition

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Ocala, Florida – Senior United States District Judge Wm. Terrell Hodges today sentenced Michael Paul Watkins (41, Citrus Springs) to six years and six months in federal prison for possession of firearms and ammunition by a previously convicted felon.  Watkins pleaded guilty on February 26, 2015.       

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