For Immediate Release
Armed Career Criminal Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Possession of a Firearm/Ammunition
Ocala, Florida – U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. has sentenced Johnny Lee Smith (43, Pensacola) to 15 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon. He had pleaded guilty on March 26, 2021.
According to the facts presented in court, on August 29, 2020, deputies from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on Smith’s car. During the stop, the deputies saw a loaded .22 caliber revolver on the front passenger seat next to Smith. A records check showed that Smith had 15 prior state felony convictions, including numerous convictions for selling cocaine. Because of these felony convictions, Smith is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law. Following his arrest, the deputies also recovered an additional .22 caliber bullet from Smith’s pocket.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys William S. Hamilton and Charles Helm.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.