For Immediate Release
Armed Career Criminal Sentenced to 15 Years for Possessing a Firearm and Ammunition
Tampa, Florida – Senior U.S. District Judge Virginia Covington has sentenced Luis Michael Quercia (54, Bradenton) to 15 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon. The court also ordered Quercia to forfeit the firearm and ammunition used in the offense.
Quercia had pleaded guilty on January 23, 2020.
According to court documents, on June 2, 2019, a Sarasota Police Department officer conducted a traffic stop on a Jeep with an improper paper tag that had failed to stop at a stop sign. The officer made contact with Quercia, who was driving the Jeep. Quercia informed the officer that he did not have a drivers license, and, when the officer informed Quiercia that he was going to arrest him, Querica attempted to stuff a small clear plastic baggie between the center console and driver’s seat as the officer removed him from the vehicle. The officer then searched the vehicle and found the baggie containing a white powdery substance. The officer also found a loaded firearm in a plastic bag under the driver’s seat. Quercia later admitted to possessing the firearm to an ATF agent. A forensic examiner also matched Quercia’s fingerprints to a fingerprint that was discovered on the plastic bag that contained the firearm.
Because Quercia was previously convicted of several felonies, he is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Sarasota Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charlie D. Connally.
This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.