DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 15, 2020
Maria Chapa Lopez
, United States Attorney

Drug Dealer Sentenced to More Than 15 Years in Prison for Possessing a Firearm and Drugs

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew has sentenced Juan Daniel Martinez (38, Arcadia) to 15 years and 1 month in federal prison for possessing approximately six ounces of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it and for possessing a loaded pistol and additional ammunition. Martinez, a previously convicted felon for armed kidnapping, had pleaded guilty on June 30, 2020.

According to information presented during the sentencing hearing, in July 2019, Martinez was arrested after a law enforcement officer pulled him over for a traffic infraction and discovered that Martinez was driving without a valid driver license, an offense Martinez has been convicted of seven times. A subsequent search of Martinez’s car revealed a loaded gun stashed under the driver’s seat and approximately six ounces of 98% pure methamphetamine in a bag, along with other items used for drug distribution.

During an interview with law enforcement, Martinez admitted that, prior to his arrest, he had sold approximately a pound of methamphetamine daily or every other day. Martinez acknowledged that while engaging in criminal activity, including narcotics trafficking, he carried the pistol to protect himself, his drugs, and his money. Martinez confessed that he had been working to expand his drug trafficking territory and before he was arrested, he was on his way to Nokomis to sell drugs.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael M. Gordon. This case was 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.

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Tampa Field Division