Tampa Field Division

Multi-Convicted Felon Sentenced to 20 Years for Firearm Offenses

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Orlando, Florida – Chief U.S. District Judge Anne C. Conway today sentenced Curtis Lee Dallas (32, Orlando) to 20 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possessing that firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The court also ordered Dallas to forfeit the Taurus pistol and 9mm ammunition he possessed at the time of his arrest.  A federal jury found Dallas guilty on April 30, 2013.

Former Substitute Teacher Sentenced to More than 16 Years for Multiple Armed Robberies

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Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard yesterday sentenced Eddie Battles (26, Valdosta, Georgia) to 16 years and 2 months in federal prison for eleven counts of armed robbery and two counts of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Battles pleaded guilty on June 20, 2013.

Apopka Felon Pleads Guilty to Possession of Drugs, Guns, and Ammunition

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Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Jermal Marquis Chambers (25, Apopka) today pleaded guilty to possession of firearms and ammunition in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. Chambers faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Task Force Puts Drug Trafficking Ring Out of Business

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TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – United States Attorney Pamela C. Marsh announced the culmination of Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation “King of the Trap.”

The operation targeted a drug trafficking organization that was responsible for distributing in excess of 100 kilograms of cocaine and 500 pounds of marijuana in the north central panhandle of Florida between 2008 and 2013.  The investigation led to the arrest and prosecution of 43 federal defendants, whose sentences ranged from three years of probation to life imprisonment.

Lakeland Man Convicted of Charges Related to Armed Robbery

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Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury today found Kristian Keron Green (23, Lakeland) guilty of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, interference with interstate commerce by robbery, and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Green faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each of the robbery counts and a mandatory minimum of 10 years on the firearm charge, which must run consecutive to the robbery counts. His sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later date.

Federal Jury Finds Sarasota Convicted Felon Guilty Of Firearm Possession

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Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury today found Tory Lenard James (32, Sarasota) guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. James faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 16, 2014.

          According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on July 25, 2013, members of the Sarasota Police Department executed a search warrant at James’s residence. Inside the home, law enforcement officers found a loaded .22 caliber pistol.

Bradenton Felon Charged In Firearms And Drug Crimes

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Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Brandon Taylor (24, Bradenton). The five-count indictment charges Taylor with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and three counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine base. If convicted, Taylor faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for each narcotics offense and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for each firearms offense.

Lake County Man Convicted of Federal Firearms Offense

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Ocala, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury yesterday found Lucien Frank Sobolewski (44, Eustis) guilty of possession of a firearm and ammunition by an unlawful user of a controlled substance (marijuana). Sobolewski faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. His sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled. Sobolewski was indicted on March 20, 2013.

Federal Jury Convicts Merritt Island Felon for Possessing A Firearm

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Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury yesterday found Jason Lydell Orr (35, Merritt Island) guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Based on his prior felony convictions, Orr faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years, up to life in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 14, 2014, before Senior U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell. Orr was indicted on September 25, 2013.

Hawthorne Man with History of Mental Illness Indicted on Gun Charges

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Tampa, Florida – Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the arrest and charging of David Harris Dunaway (58Hawthorne) for being an individual adjudicated as mentally defective and having been committed to a mental institution, in possession of a firearm and ammunition. If convicted, Dunaway faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison. 

Dunaway was indicted on December 18, 2013.

Federal Jury Finds Convicted Felon Guilty of Possessing a Firearm

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Orlando, FL - Acting U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury today found Brian K. Hatten (33, Orlando) guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Based on his prior felony convictions, Hatten faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years, up to life in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 28, 2014, before U.S. District Court Judge John Antoon, II.

Hatten was indicted on October 23, 2013.

Pinellas County Men Sentenced in a Joint Federal and State Weapons and Drugs Investigation

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Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven today sentenced Joseph E. Thornton (34, of Largo) to 15 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Thornton pleaded guilty on June 27, 2013.

According to court documents, Thornton made a series of gun and cocaine sales to an undercover officer, including selling cocaine and a .40 caliber Hi-Point pistol and ammunition to an officer on January 8, 2013.  Following the purchase, law enforcement learned that the pistol had been reported stolen on December 17, 2012, following a residential burglary.

Two Convicted Felons Sentenced for Federal Firearm Charges

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Tampa, Florida– U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday today sentenced David P. Lawrence (26, Bradenton) to 11 years and 8 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Previously, on November 6, 2013, co-defendant Mark Alan Finehout (37, Sarasota) was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Lawrence and Finehout were indicted on June 12, 2013. Both men pleaded guilty to the charges in August 2013.

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