For Immediate Release
Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty to Illegally Attempting to Purchase a Firearm
Jacksonville, FL – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that Kelly Villalobos (49, Ponte Vedra) has pleaded guilty to making a false statement to a federally licensed firearms dealer. Villalobos faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the plea agreement, on January 26, 2010, Villalobos was convicted of two counts of stealing mail matter by a postal employee and sentenced to 3 years’ probation. On November 26, 2019, Villalobos entered Shooters of Jacksonville, a federally licensed firearms dealer, and attempted to purchase a firearm. Villalobos falsely stated on the ATF paperwork that she had never been convicted of a felony offense (as a convicted felon, she is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law).
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Talbot.
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.
This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence and enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes. For more information on Project Guardian visit www.justice.gov/projectguardian.