For Immediate Release
Armed Drug Dealer Sentenced To More Than 17 Years In Federal Prison
Jacksonville, Florida –U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan yesterday sentenced Michael Holmes (53, Jacksonville) to 17 years and 6 months in federal prison for illegal possession of multiple firearms by a convicted felon, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base (“crack cocaine”). He was found guilty in a bench trial before Judge Corrigan on November 12, 2015.
According to court documents and testimony at the sentencing hearing, on December 29, 2013, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office detectives questioned Holmes on the front porch of his home about complaints of drug sales occurring at the property. When asked to retrieve his identification, Holmes left the detectives on his front porch and attempted to obtain a firearm from his gun safe inside the home. Unable to get the safe open, Holmes returned to the front porch. He later told the detectives that if he had been able to get the safe open, he believed that he would have been able to “take . . . out” at least two detectives before making his escape.
While waiting on the front porch, detectives smelled fresh burning marijuana wafting out the front door and, when Holmes returned from inside the home, he admitted to smoking marijuana. The detectives obtained a search warrant for the home and later found the gun safe, 12 firearms, over 1,100 rounds of ammunition, high-capacity magazines, a bulletproof vest, approximately $3,600 in cash, three digital scales, more than 49 grams of marijuana, 20 grams of cocaine base, and 29 grams of powder cocaine. When asked how he came to possess the cache of firearms, Holmes explained, “I sell dope. People come. I buy.”
Holmes has multiple, prior felony convictions, including drug sale convictions. As such, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Cherie Krigsman and Michael J. Coolican.
This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN) — 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, Acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.