For Immediate Release
Clearwater Man Sentenced to Prison for Unlawful Possession of Firearms in a School Zone
Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew has sentenced Gerard Graves (27, Clearwater) to seven years in federal prison for unlawful possession of firearms in a school zone.
Graves had pleaded guilty on July 19, 2019.
According to court documents, on May 27, 2015, the Drug Enforcement Administration learned through a confidential informant (CI) that Graves, a convicted felon, was attempting to sell a shotgun. The CI, under DEA supervision, spoke with Graves and arranged a time and place to purchase the firearm. Graves arrived at the agreed upon location in Clearwater and sold a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun and ammunition to the CI. On July 9, 2019, Graves contacted the CI and said that he had another firearm for sale. The CI, under DEA supervision, met with Graves the next day at another location in Clearwater, where Graves sold the CI a Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol and ammunition. Both firearm sales occurred within 1,000 feet of a school.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael C. Sinacore.
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.