For Immediate Release
Jury Finds Florida Felon Guilty of Armed Drug Trafficking and Other Offenses
Tampa, Florida – A federal jury today found Robert Christopher Sunmonu (22, St. Petersburg) guilty of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possessing crack cocaine with the intent to distribute it, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Sunmonu faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years, and up to life, in federal prison. His sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.
Sunmonu was indicted on September 24, 2019.
According to testimony presented at trial, on August 2, 2019, officers from the St. Petersburg Police Department attempted to stop Sunmonu, who was driving a stolen car. Instead of stopping, Sunmonu fled and led officers on a chase through St. Petersburg, ending in an apartment complex, where Sunmonu then fled on foot. Sunmonu jumped a concrete wall and was attempting to hop a fence when an officer grabbed him. Sunmonu continued to try and break free as a second officer pried Sunmonu from the fence and got him to the ground. As officers tried to gain control of Sunmonu’s hands, he resisted and reached for his waist. The officers eventually handcuffed Sunmonu and found a loaded firearm in his pants pocket. In retracing Sunmonu’s steps, the officers recovered trafficking amounts of crack cocaine, marijuana, and Xanax.
At the time of the incident, Sunmonu had multiple prior felony convictions. Therefore, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the St. Petersburg Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory T. Nolan.
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 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.