DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 13, 2022
Juan Antonio Gonzalez
, United States Attorney

Okeechobee County Man Sentenced to Prison for Illegal Firearm Possession

MIAMI – Mitchell A. Ellis, 34, of Okeechobee County, Fla., was sentenced on October 12 by U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon to 16 months in prison for illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.  He also was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.      

According to court records, on September 21, 2021, at approximately 12:15 a.m., Ellis led law enforcement on a high-speed chase on his motorcycle through the downtown area of Okeechobee.  He exceeded 100 mph, failed to stop at several stop signs, and rode against oncoming traffic–all while armed with a loaded firearm.  He ultimately crashed his motorcycle and was thrown from his seat while attempting to flee across an empty field.  A loaded Rossi .38 caliber revolver was located on the sidewalk a few feet from where the motorcycle crashed.  Ellis, a convicted felon, is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms.

Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Christopher A. Robinson, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Division, and Okeechobee City Chief of Police Donald Hagan made the announcement.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Division, and the Okeechobee City Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Porter prosecuted the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Daren Grove is handling asset forfeiture.

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. In 2017, PSN was reinvigorated as part of the Justice Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals. All U.S. Attorney’s Offices were directed 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.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or at, under case number 21-cr-14038.


Miami Field Division