For Immediate Release
Convicted Felon Who Possessed Loaded Firearm Sentenced to Seven Years in Federal Prison
Ocala, Florida – Senior United States District Judge John Antoon II has sentenced Nathanael Santiago (29, Ocala) to seven years in federal prison for possessing a firearm and ammunition as a previously convicted felon. A federal jury had found Santiago guilty on May 11, 2022.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, deputies from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office encountered Santiago in the driver’s seat of an idling vehicle in Marion Oaks. The deputies approached Santiago and saw a marijuana “blunt” in the ashtray, which Santiago admitted to smoking. When Santiago stepped out of the vehicle, the deputies discovered a loaded 9mm pistol that had been hidden beneath his right leg. Santiago has previously been convicted of three felony offenses. As a convicted felon, he is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition under federal law.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys William S. Hamilton and Hannah Nowalk.