For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
, United States Attorney
Maria Chapa Lopez
Contact: William Daniels
Felon Convicted in Connection with Firearms Sales
Tampa Field Division
Tampa, Florida – A federal jury has found Johnnie Charles Grimsley, Jr. (28, Clearwater) guilty of possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon. He faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years, and up to life, in federal prison. A sentencing hearing has been set for August 14, 2018. Grimsley was indicted on May 18, 2017.
According to evidence presented at trial, on two separate occasions in November 2016, Grimsley and an accomplice sold firearms and ammunition to an undercover detective in Pinellas County. Grimsley did not physically handle the firearms and ammunition during the deals; he had his accomplice handle them. However, during both transactions, Grimsley stated that he had obtained the firearms and ammunition, and he personally accepted the payment from the undercover detective during the second sale. At the time, Grimsley was a convicted felon and, therefore, is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the St. Petersburg Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Taylor G. Stout.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In October 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to develop districtwide crime reduction strategies, incorporating the lessons learned since the program’s inception in 2001. 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.