DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, September 7, 2023
Roger B. Handberg
, United States Attorney

Lehigh Acres Armed Career Criminal Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison for Firearm and Drug Offenses

FORT MYERS, Fla. – U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell has sentenced Louis Michael Pasquazzi, 53, of Lehigh Acres to 18 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon and for possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute it. The court also ordered Pasquazzi to forfeit the firearms and ammunition he illegally possessed. Pasquazzi had previously pleaded guilty on April 26.

According to court documents, on July 12, 2022, Lee County Sheriff’s Office narcotics detectives were conducting surveillance on a residence in Lehigh Acres when they observed Pasquazzi enter the driver’s seat of a black Cadillac Escalade that was backed into the driveway. Detectives then observed the Escalade rapidly exit the driveway, travel eastbound and fail to stop at a stop sign. Detectives initiated a traffic stop of the vehicle and made contact with Pasquazzi at the driver’s side window. While speaking with Pasquazzi, detectives could smell the odor of marijuana coming from inside of the vehicle. An LCSO canine unit was deployed and conducted a free air sniff of the Escalade and alerted to the presence of narcotics inside. LCSO detectives searched the Escalade and located a black SCCY 9mm firearm under the driver’s seat and a Ruger .40 caliber S&W firearm in the glovebox. Detectives also found a bulky plastic bag containing 62.01 grams of cocaine on Pasquazzi’s person.

LCSO detectives then obtained a search warrant for the residence from which Pasquazzi had been observed leaving. Inside Pasquazzi’s bedroom, LCSO detectives located a Marlin Arms .22 rifle, a Masterpiece Arms 9mm sub-machine gun, a Taurus G3 9mm firearm, a Ruger AR-556 rifle and more than 500 rounds of assorted ammunition. The safe in Pasquazzi’s bedroom closet was also accessed and searched by detectives. Inside of the safe, detectives located approximately 353 grams of cocaine. Also inside Pasquazzi’s bedroom, detectives found articles of drug paraphernalia used to distribute and manufacture controlled substances, including measuring cups, packaging material and cutting agents.

This case was investigated by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Trent Reichling.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results.


Tampa Field Division