For Immediate Release
Eight Federally Charged as Part of Violent Crime Initiative
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the arrest of eight defendants on federal firearms and drug charges (see attached summary chart). Penalties for the various offenses range from 5 to 40 years’ imprisonment. The arrests are the result of a violent crime initiative being jointly undertaken by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO).
"Fighting violent crime is a top priority of my Office," said U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III. "We’re doing that by prosecuting felons possessing firearms and drug traffickers in the areas most victimized by violent crime. We’re very grateful for the hard work and dedication of ATF and our tremendous local partners, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office."
"ATF will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and commit personnel and specialized resources in order to remove from our community individuals that use a gun to commit acts of violence," said Special Agent in Charge Regina Lombardo, ATF-Tampa.
"Due to the increase in violent crimes involving firearms around the country, it is critical that we address these issues immediately through a variety of enforcement efforts.
One effective measure are joint operations such as this, where we can optimize our manpower and strategically focus on offenders who put the citizens in our county in danger," stated Colonel Donna Lusczynski of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed violations of one or more federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
These cases were investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. They will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Natalie Hirt Adams, Michael Leeman, Shauna Hale, Taylor Stout, and Carlton C. Gammons.
These cases are prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s "Project Safe Neighborhoods" Program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy. United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III, along with Regina Lombardo, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, is coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials. It is also a part of ATF’s Frontline strategy to combat violent crime in our communities.