For Immediate Release
North Lauderdale Resident Arrested and Charged with Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine
A North Lauderdale resident was arrested and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Ari C. Shapira, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Office, and Scott Israel, Sheriff, Broward County Sheriff’s Office, made the announcement.
Christopher Sergo Denis, 27, of North Lauderdale, was charged by indictment on October 30, 2018, with being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2) (Count 1); and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) (Count 2). Denis had previously been charged, by criminal complaint, with being a felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted of both counts of the indictment, Denis faces a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
According to the court record, including facts alleged in the criminal complaint and indictment, on September 15, 2018, Denis posted a video recording that he labeled “Wild Wild West” on Facebook that depicted him firing three firearms at a local gun range. A BSO detective discovered the Facebook posting and brought it to the attention of ATF. An ATF Special Agent viewed the Facebook posting, went to the gun range, and recovered evidence documenting Denis’s presence at the gun range, including a video recording of Denis firing the firearms.
The court record further alleges that, on October 18, 2018, Denis was arrested at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale when he arrived to attend a hearing in a pending state criminal case. In his pocket, Denis had a small container with fourteen plastic zip-lock bags, each containing cocaine.
An indictment and criminal complaint contain formal charges against a defendant. Under the law, the charges are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
This case stems from Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of ATF and BSO. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William T. Shockley.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.