DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Karin Hoppmann (Acting)
, United States Attorney
Contact: William Daniels

Convicted Felon Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison for Possessing Firearms

Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis has sentenced Cleophus McCaskill (51, Jacksonville) to nine years in federal prison for possessing firearms as a convicted felon.  The court also ordered McCaskill to forfeit the firearms and ammunition used in the offense.

McCaskill had pleaded guilty on December 8, 2020.

According to court documents, during a search after a traffic stop in Palatka on March 17, 2019, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office deputies found illegal narcotics, drug paraphernalia, and three firearms—a .38 caliber pistol, a stolen .357 caliber pistol with an obliterated serial number, and a 7.62mm caliber AK-47 pistol with a 30-round magazine—in McCaskill’s car.  Each of the firearms was loaded. 

Prior to these events, McCaskill had been convicted of multiple felonies, including attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault.  Therefore, he is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David B. Mesrobian.

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, Acting U.S. Attorney Karin Hoppmann coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

Tampa Field Division