For Immediate Release
Federal Jury Convicts Merritt Island Felon for Possessing A Firearm
Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury yesterday found Jason Lydell Orr (35, Merritt Island) guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Based on his prior felony convictions, Orr faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years, up to life in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 14, 2014, before Senior U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell. Orr was indicted on September 25, 2013.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on April 21, 2013, deputies from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office responded to a neighborhood in Merritt Island after residents reported hearing multiple gun shots. After canvassing the neighborhood and speaking to a 911 caller, deputies observed spent shell casings in the bed of a pickup truck parked in front of Orr’s residence. Deputies knocked on Orr’s front door and Orr eventually came to the door. Further investigation revealed that Orr possessed a loaded Israeli Weapon Industries, model Desert Eagle, .40 caliber pistol inside a Chevy Caprice Classic parked in front of his home. A crime scene technician collected DNA evidence from the firearm. Laboratory analysis confirmed that Orr’s DNA was present on the firearm.
At the time, Orr had at least three prior felony convictions for serious drug offenses and violent felonies. As such, he was not permitted to possess a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew C. Searle.
It is another case 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 Julie Leon, 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.
This case is also a part of ATF’s Frontline strategy to reduce violent crime and improve the quality of life in communities, where law enforcement efforts are focused.