DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Maria Chapa Lopez
, United States Attorney
Contact: William Daniels

Lakeland Man Sentenced to 30 Years for Firearm Offense

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew has sentenced Felix Antequera Rivera, Jr. (33, Lakeland) to 30 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon

A jury had found Rivera guilty on December 10, 2019.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, on June 15, 2018, officers from the Lakeland Police Department were patrolling an apartment complex when they observed Rivera who appeared to have a large object concealed in his waistband. When the officers approached Rivera, he turned, walked in the opposite direction, and attempted to enter a friend’s apartment. Rivera then tried to slip out of a backpack that he was wearing and attempted to flee. A prolonged struggle involving Rivera and four police officers ensued, during which Rivera reached for a firearm in his pants, struck a police officer in the head with handcuffs, and grabbed at the officers’ firearms and tasers. Officers eventually seized from Rivera a Sig Sauer pistol loaded with 11 rounds of ammunition.

Rivera has a long and violent criminal history, including convictions for armed robbery with a firearm, felony battery, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and is therefore prohibited from possessing firearm or ammunition.     

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Lakeland Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Murray.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Talbot.

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.


Tampa Field Division