For Immediate Release
Convicted Felon Sentenced to Eight Years in Federal Prison for Firearm Possession
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – Robert Robinson Sr., of Gainesville, Florida, was sentenced on January 5, 2021, to eight years in federal prison after entering a plea of guilty to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. At the time of his guilty plea on September 8, Robinson already had multiple prior felony convictions, including felony battery, possession of a firearm by felon, possession of a firearm with serial number removed, and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the sentence.
“The criminal use of firearms is one of the greatest threats to the safety and well-being of the people of North Florida, and this lengthy sentence will keep a serious repeat offender away from the law-abiding people of our communities,” U.S. Attorney Keefe said. “This sentence sends a clear message that we take such threats seriously and do everything in our power to stop them.”
On the morning of March 1, 2020, deputies from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) were dispatched to a gas station after 911 callers reported that an armed confrontation had occurred in front of the store. Video footage later confirmed information provided by witnesses who said that Robinson, 27, got into an argument with another man in front of the store and then retrieved a 9 mm rifle from the trunk of his vehicle. Robinson escalated the confrontation with the other man while holding the rifle in his hands, before fleeing the area in his vehicle. A responding deputy quickly located the suspect vehicle and got behind it, but before the deputy could activate his emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop, the vehicle accelerated into a residential neighborhood in an attempt to evade law enforcement. During a brief pursuit through the neighborhood, Robinson turned around on a dead-end road and threw the rifle out of his car window, before aggressively driving toward the pursuing deputy’s vehicle and continuing his flight. Robinson was ultimately stopped by other ACSO deputies who had blocked the exit to the neighborhood. The rifle, loaded with an extended magazine and 17 rounds of 9 mm ammunition, was located in the grass near where Robinson had turned around.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) adopted the case for federal prosecution and conducted additional investigation, as a part of the Gainesville Gun Violence Initiative (GVI).
“Removing convicted felons in possession of firearms from our streets is a priority for ATF,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Craig W. Saier. “Together with the investigative efforts of our law enforcement partners, this individual has been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
This sentencing resulted from the collaborative work of the ACSO and the ATF. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Chris Elsey.
The Gainesville GVI was established in April 2019 by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida in an effort to stem the escalating gun violence in Gainesville and the surrounding area. This commitment to protecting public safety is shared by GVI partners the State Attorney’s Office for the Eight Judicial Circuit, the ATF, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Gainesville Police Department, the ACSO, the Alachua Police Department, the University of Florida Police Department, and the Florida Department of Corrections.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.