For Immediate Release
Monday, March 12, 2018
, United States Attorney
Maria Chapa Lopez
Contact: William Daniels
Lee County Couple Pleads Guilty to Firearms Charges
Field Division: Tampa Field Division
Fort Myers, Florida – Herman Fleming (26, Lehigh Acres) and Sondre’jah Wilbon (24, Fort Myers) today pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges arising out of a straw purchasing incident. Both individuals face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. Sentencing dates have not yet been set.
According to court documents, Fleming and Wilbon traveled to a gun show at the Lee County Civic Center on April 2, 2017. Fleming, who was then facing state felony charges, was prohibited from receiving a firearm under federal law. An undercover Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent standing next to the couple at a display booth observed Fleming handling various firearms and heard him tell Wilbon which three guns (an assault-style rifle and two pistols) he wanted to buy. Fleming then provided Wilbon with cash and left the area to avoid raising suspicion.
In the paperwork required to make the purchase, Wilbon lied and claimed she was the intended recipient of the firearms. The two were arrested while leaving the gun show. Law enforcement found the rifle in the trunk of Fleming’s car and the receipts for the guns in his pocket. The two pistols were subject to a three-day waiting period by law and never left the possession of the firearms dealer.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael V. Leeman.