For Immediate Release
Monday, July 17, 2017
, United States Attorney
W. Stephen Muldrow
Contact: William Daniels
Armed Career Criminal Caught in Undercover Sting Sentenced to 15 Years
Tampa Field Division
Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard today sentenced Keith Ford (40, Gainesville) to 15 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. He pleaded guilty on August 30, 2016.
According to court documents, on May 11, 2016, Ford and a co-defendant went to a warehouse parking lot in Jacksonville where they expected to help drug dealers offload a large shipment of marijuana. Ford and his co-defendant had previously agreed to bring firearms to the location and provide protection for the drug dealers. Once they arrived at the location, the dealers, who were actually undercover law enforcement agents, asked Ford and his co-defendant to put their guns in the trunk of a car. After the two firearms were secured, the defendants were arrested.
At the time of the offense, Ford was a convicted felon and therefore is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law. Due to his three prior convictions for selling cocaine, he qualified for an increased penalty as an Armed Career Criminal.
This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Talbot.
This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy. Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow, along with Daryl McCrary, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, are coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials. It is also a part of ATF’s Frontline Strategy on reducing violent crime in communities.