DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
A. Lee Bentley, III
, United States Attorney
Contact: William Daniels

Federal Jury Convicts Sanford Felon for Possessing a Firearm

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury yesterday found Brandon Lavantis Hughes (28, Sanford) guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Hughes faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.  His sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 15, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr.  Hughes was indicted on April 2, 2014.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on November 25, 2011, officers from the Sanford Police Department responded to a 911 call indicating that an individual was pointing a firearm at people on a public street in Sanford.  After the responding officers arrived at the scene, one of the officers further observed Hughes walk towards a bar that was located on the street. The officers stopped Hughes and recovered a loaded Colt .357 caliber revolver from a nearby garbage can. The firearm was loaded with one round of Remington .357 caliber ammunition. A forensic examination of the firearm revealed that Hughes’ fingerprints were present in two locations on the firearm. Both the firearm and ammunition were manufactured outside the State of Florida and therefore affected interstate commerce.

At the time of the incident, Hughes was a convicted felon. 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), the Sanford Police Department, and the Volusia 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 Trevor Velinor, Acting 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 is another example of ATF’s Frontline Strategy to impact violent crime within our communities.



Tampa Field Division