For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
, United States Attorney
Maria Chapa Lopez
Contact: William Daniels
Ocala Man Pleads Guilty to Firearms Offense in Connection with Accidental Self-Shooting
Tampa Field Division
Ocala, Florida – Michael Guell (37, Ocala) has pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the plea agreement, on November 28, 2018, Guell was admitted to an Ocala-area hospital for gunshot wounds. When police arrived at the hospital, Guell told them that he had been robbed at gunpoint and shot by an unknown assailant. Investigating further, police located Guell’s car and saw shell casings and handgun ammunition through the car’s window. When interviewed a second time, Guell admitted that he had been drinking in his car and had accidentally shot himself. A search of Guell’s vehicle revealed a semi-automatic handgun, 26 rounds of ammunition, and multiple shell casings.
As a convicted felon, Guell is prohibited from possessing any firearms or ammunition under federal law.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Ocala Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William S. Hamilton.
This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.