For Immediate Release
Thursday, September 27, 2018
, United States Attorney
Maria Chapa Lopez
Contact: William Daniels
Jacksonville Man Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison for Federal Drug and Firearm Offenses
Field Division: Tampa Field Division
Jacksonville, Florida– U.S. District Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger today sentenced Ronald Andrews (34, Jacksonville) to 14 years in federal prison for possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Andrews pleaded guilty on May 10, 2018.
According to court documents and evidence presented in court, on July 28, 2017, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) conducted a traffic stop of a rental car that Andrews was driving. Andrews’s four-year-old son was the only passenger in the car. While gathering Andrews’s license, the troopers smelled marijuana and saw remnants of a joint in the car. When it became clear that troopers intended to detain Andrews for further investigation, Andrews held his son in his arms and used him as a shield to try and push pass the troopers, eventually throwing the child at them. The child was not injured, and the troopers were able to detain Andrews before he could escape.
During a search of the car, the troopers located a loaded semi-automatic pistol and more than 200 grams of methamphetamine, as well as marijuana and hydrocodone pills. In addition, Andrews had $2,325 cash in his pocket. At the time, Andrews had previous felony convictions, including for felony battery, and therefore, was prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law.
This case was investigated by the Florida Highway Patrol, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Frank Talbot and Michael J. Coolican.
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.