For Immediate Release
Jacksonville Man Who Sold Firearms and Crack Cocaine to Undercover Agent Pleads Guilty
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that Darrick “Block” Stafford (41, Jacksonville) today pleaded guilty to distributing 28 grams or more of crack cocaine and to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. He faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 5 years, and up to 50 years, in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the plea agreement, Stafford participated in a series of transactions involving the sale of firearms (including assault-style rifles) to an undercover agent and a confidential informant working for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Stafford also sold the undercover agent powder cocaine and crack cocaine. When Stafford was arrested by detectives from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, they recovered a .45 caliber pistol that had been hidden under the hood of the car that he was driving. Due to his prior felony convictions, including robbery and firearms offenses, Stafford 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 is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney 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.