For Immediate Release
Local Tattoo Artist Convicted of Federal Firearms Charge
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury today found Anthony Lee Erity (33, Kenneth City) guilty of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. Erity faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 18, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington. Erity was indicted on November 21, 2013.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on July 11, 2013, during an undercover operation at a local tattoo shop in Pinellas County, Erity sold a firearm and ammunition out of his car to a confidential informant. Erity had previously been convicted of a felony, and was therefore prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law. Both the firearm and ammunition were manufactured outside the State of Florida and therefore affected interstate commerce. As the trial date approached, Erity took steps to flee the country to avoid federal prosecution. Based on that conduct, Erity was ordered detained pending trial.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the St. Petersburg Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Adam M. Saltzman and Simon A. Gaugush.
It 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 Trevor Velinor, Acting 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. It is another example of ATF’s Frontline Strategy to impact violent crime within our communities.