For Immediate Release
Jacksonville Convicted Murderer Indicted for Firearms and Drug Trafficking Offenses
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging Ronald Bernard Thomas, Jr. (45, Jacksonville) with distributing methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, two counts of possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. If convicted on all counts, Thomas faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years, and up to life, in prison. The indictment also notifies Thomas that the United States intends to forfeit an FN Herstal pistol and a Glock pistol, which were used in the offenses.
According to the indictment, on July 8, 2022, Thomas, who also goes by the name “Gorilla,” sold methamphetamine and possessed a firearm in furtherance of that drug trafficking crime. On July 28, 2022, Thomas possessed methamphetamine that he intended to distribute, and possessed a firearm in furtherance of that drug trafficking crime. Furthermore, Thomas, who had been convicted of second-degree murder in 2002, possessed an FN Herstal pistol and a Glock pistol on July 28, 2022. Because Thomas is a convicted felon, he is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Florida Highway Patrol. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Laura Cofer Taylor and Frank Talbot.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.