Tampa Field Division

Bradenton Man Indicted for Federal Arson and Firearm Offenses

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Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the return of an indictment charging Henry Blain Howard (47, Bradenton) with arson, possessing an unregistered destructive device, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon. If convicted on all counts, Howard faces a mandatory minimum term of 50 years in federal prison.

Plant City Man Sentenced to More than 11 Years for Armed Robbery

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Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington has sentenced Reginald Lynn Gaines (24, Plant City) to 11 years and 9 months in federal prison for robbing a convenience store, and using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during that robbery. The court also ordered Gaines to pay $1,000 in restitution, which was the amount taken during the robbery. Gaines pleaded guilty on September 2, 2014.

Leader of "River Otter Preppers" Sentenced

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Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington has sentenced Martin Howard Winters (55, Valrico), the leader of the River Otter Preppers organization, to 30 months’ imprisonment for manufacturing and possessing destructive devices.  He pleaded guilty on August 28, 2014. 

On November 20, 2014, Winters’s co-defendant, Michael Keith Bonta (50, Valrico), was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for making the destructive devices for Winters.  He pleaded guilty on September 2, 2014. 

Volusia County Man Sentenced To 15 Years for Being a Felon in Possession of Firearms

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Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. yesterday sentenced Marco Maurice Heath (36, DeLeon Springs) to 15 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of firearms. The Court also ordered Heath to forfeit five firearms that he had illegally possessed. Heath was found guilty during a bench trial before Judge Dalton on August 19, 2014. He was originally indicted on May 7, 2014.

St. Petersburg Man Sentenced to Over 15 Years in Federal Prison for Unlawfully Possessing Firearms and Ammunition

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Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. today sentenced Cordey Jermel Adams (34, St. Petersburg) to 15 years and eight months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. Adams pleaded guilty on November 25, 2013.

Three Plead Guilty to Federal Firearm Violations in Gulf Breeze Home Invasion Case

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PENSACOLA, FLORIDA - Teandre L. Altman, age 21, of Pensacola, pled guilty today to participating in a home invasion on August 27, 2014, with Robert F. Fraser, age 26, and Frank A. Rogers, age 19, who pled guilty previously. The pleas were announced today by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Citrus County Man Arrested on Federal Firearms, Ammunition, and Explosives Charges

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Ocala, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the arrest yesterday of Michael Paul Watkins (41, Citrus Springs) on a criminal complaint alleging the possession of firearms and ammunition by a previously convicted felon, and the possession and manufacturing of unregistered destructive devices. Each offense carries a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison.

Mastermind of International Diamond Center Robbery Sentenced

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Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell yesterday sentenced Bryan Bobby Beaudoin (25, Orlando) to 11 years and 6 months in federal prison for conspiring to commit robbery and using a firearm in furtherance of the armed robbery.  The Court also ordered Beaudoin to forfeit $6,277, which represents the proceeds from the sale of stolen jewelry and the firearm used in the robbery.  He pleaded guilty on July 31, 2014.

Convicted Felon Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Possession of a Firearm

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Ocala, Florida – Senior United States District Judge Wm. Terrell Hodges yesterday sentenced Ish’Mael M. Cassells (31, Ocala) to 15 years in federal prison for possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. He pleaded guilty on July 24, 2014.

According to court documents, from April 22, 2014, through May 8, 2014, Cassells sold firearms, including .380 and .40 caliber pistols and a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle, and prescription pain pills to a confidential informant working with law enforcement. 

Levy County Man Sentenced for Burglary and Theft of Firearms

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GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA –Senior U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson sentenced Joshua Sipe, 30, of Newberry, Florida, to a mandatory minimum term of 15 years as an Armed Career Criminal in federal court in Gainesville yesterday. The sentence imposed by the court was  announced by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Former Chief of Longwood Police Department Indicted

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Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Thomas S. Jackson (57, Longwood) and Samer S. Majzoub (53, Heathrow) with one count of conspiracy and three counts of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.  If convicted, each faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison for the conspiracy count and ten years’ imprisonment for each bribery count.

Haines City Man Sentenced to More Than 5 Years for Smuggling Firearms and Ammunition from the United States to Columbia

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Orlando, Florida – Senior U.S. District Judge G. Kendall Sharp sentenced Mauricio Arbelaez (42, Haines City) to five years and three months in federal prison for smuggling goods from the United States, possessing an unregistered silencer, and possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number.  Arbelaez pleaded guilty on June 25, 2014.

Tampa Crack Cocaine Traffickers Sentenced to Federal Prison

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Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Charlene E. Honeywell yesterday sentenced Paul Close (30) to 15 years and six months in federal prison for conspiring to distribute crack cocaine. Close was the last of four individuals to be sentenced in this case. On August 8, 2014, Craig Cooley (36) was sentenced to 17 years and six months in federal prison for conspiring to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine. Lataurus Wanser (31) was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment for conspiring to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine.

Multi-Convicted Felon Sentenced to Over 11 Years in Prison for Possession of an AK-47 Assault Rifle

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Orlando, FL –U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza today sentenced Tyruss Lydell Lomax (29, Sanford) to 11 years and 8 months in federal prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The Court also ordered Lomax to forfeit the Century International Arms AK-47 rifle used in the crime. Lomax pleaded guilty on May 14, 2014.

Sarasota Man Sentenced to Six Years for Possessing Firearms and Ammunition

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Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven yesterday sentenced Terrance Timmons (30, Sarasota) to six years in federal prison for possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon. The court also ordered Timmons to forfeit two firearms and twenty rounds of ammunition. Timmons pleaded guilty on May 20, 2014.

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