For Immediate Release
Bradenton Felon Convicted of Drug Trafficking and Possessing Five Firearms
Tampa, Florida– United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that a federal jury has found Woodrow Pressey, Jr. (47, Bradenton) guilty of possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute it, and possessing five firearms and several rounds of ammunition as a convicted felon. He faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years, up to life, in federal prison.
Pressey was indicted on September 6, 2017.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on June 12, 2017, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant at Pressey’s home and found crack cocaine, fentanyl, a razorblade used for cutting crack cocaine, and two digital scales in his bedroom. In a locked shed in the backyard, investigators found a .38 caliber revolver, a .357 magnum caliber revolver, a 12-gauge shotgun, a .30-06 caliber rifle, a 7.62 caliber assault rifle, five rounds of 12-gauge shotgun ammunition, five rounds of .357 magnum caliber ammunition, and two rounds of .38 caliber ammunition. Pressey had two keys in his possession that unlocked the shed.
Following his arrest, Pressey told investigators that he had been released from Florida state prison on April 29, 2017, and began selling heroin and crack cocaine two days later. He said he had hidden the firearms in the shed while he was in prison and was planning to find a buyer for the guns.
Pressey has prior felony convictions for trafficking heroin, possessing cocaine with the intent to sell it, and aggravated assault and is therefore prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.
This case is the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation dubbed “Hot Batch.” It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and it is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Shauna S. Hale and Michael Gordon.
It is also part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In October 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to develop districtwide crime reduction strategies, incorporating the lessons learned since the program’s inception in 2001. 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.