For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 2, 2017
, United States Attorney
A. Lee Bentley, III
Contact: William Daniels
Lehigh Acres Convicted Felon Sentenced for Gun and Drug Crimes
Field Division: Tampa Field Division
Fort Myers, FL – United States District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell today sentenced James Thomas Bissell (32, Lehigh Acres) to 12 years and 7 months in federal prison for possession with the intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine and heroin; possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, hydrocodone, marijuana, alprazolam, and morphine; and possession of firearms as a convicted felon.
Bissell was indicted on February 3, 2016.
According to the plea agreement, on October 23, 2015, Bissell sold cocaine and heroin to an undercover detective from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office from his home in Lehigh Acres. On December 3, 2015, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the home and recovered six types of controlled substances that Bissell was holding for distribution, along with 28 firearms and cash. As a convicted felon, Bissell was prohibited from possessing firearms, two of which had been previously reported stolen.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jesus M. Casas and David G. Lazarus.
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.