DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
A. Lee Bentley, III
, United States Attorney
Contact: William Daniels

Jury Convicts Orlando Resident for Possessing a Firearm

Orlando, Florida– United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury has found Shaka Smith (27, Orlando) guilty of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 24, 2017, and he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. Smith was indicted on September 28, 2016.
 
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on June 28, 2016, Smith ran from Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies, through a residential neighborhood, with a backpack containing a .380 caliber semiautomatic firearm. The gun had an obliterated serial number and held an extended magazine containing 15 rounds of ammunition. Deputies also recovered two small bags of drugs from the backpack. Prior to his arrest in 2016, Smith had been convicted (2010) in the Orange County, Florida Circuit Court for carrying a concealed firearm. As a previously convicted felon, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
 
This case was investigated by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Vincent S. Chiu and Sean P. Shecter.
 
This is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy.  United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III, along with Daryl R. McCrary, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, is coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.
 
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Field Division: Tampa Field Division