For Immediate Release
Jacksonville Drug Dealer Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison for Firearm Possession
Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan today sentenced Daniel Francesco Vidal (29, Jacksonville) to 10 years in federal prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The court also ordered Vidal to forfeit the Walther PPK pistol that he had possessed.
Vidal pleaded guilty on August 6, 2018.
According to court documents and information presented at sentencing, on March 12, 2017, Vidal was driving a car on Interstate 95, in Jacksonville, when a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (“JSO”) patrol officer determined there was probable cause to believe that the car had been stolen. Three JSO patrol officers attempted a traffic stop of Vidal’s vehicle, but Vidal failed to comply. Ultimately, Vidal stopped his car after the officers forced him off the road. Vidal was detained, and inside his car, an officer found a Walther PPK pistol, along with drug packaging and paraphernalia consistent with trafficking in marijuana.
On May 22, 2017, Vidal made a call for service to JSO, and two JSO patrol officers responded to Vidal’s house, where two additional firearms were found in plain view.
On July 25, 2017, JSO officers attempting to execute a federal arrest warrant for Vidal encountered him driving a pickup truck on Interstate 95 in Jacksonville. During the stop, Vidal used his pickup truck to intentionally ram JSO vehicles, then attempted to flee on foot. Vidal was apprehended, and a search of his truck revealed several pounds of marijuana and approximately $37,000, as well as a gun safe in the bed of the truck.
Prior to committing these crimes, Vidal was a 10-time convicted felon, and thus 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 Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Laura Cofer Taylor.
This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. 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.