DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, July 27, 2016
A. Lee Bentley, III
, United States Attorney
Contact: William Daniels

Operation Cease Fire Yields Multiple Federal and State Arrests on Firearms and Drug Offenses

Orlando, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley III, along with Daytona Beach Police Chief Michael Chitwood, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Trevor A. Velinor of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and State Attorney R.J. Larizza, announces the arrest of 20 individuals as part of a joint law enforcement operation named “Operation Ceasefire.” As part of this operation, 11 individuals have been federally charged with firearms-related offenses. Penalties for the various offenses range from 5 years, up to life, in federal prison. Nine individuals have also been charged by the state with drug and firearms-related offenses. These cumulative arrests are the result of a violent crime initiative jointly undertaken by the United States Attorney’s Office, ATF, the Daytona Beach Police Department, and the State Attorney’s Office for the Seventh Judicial Circuit.

"Fighting violent crime is a top priority of my Office," said U.S. Attorney Bentley. "We’re doing that by prosecuting felons possessing firearms and drug traffickers in areas most victimized by violent crime. We are very grateful for the hard work and dedication of ATF and our local partners, the Daytona Beach Police Department, and the State Attorney’s Office."

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has violated one or more of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

Additional cases have already been prosecuted as part of this joint violent crime initiative, including five federal cases and two state cases.

These cases were investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Daytona Beach Police Department. The federal cases will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jackson Boggs, Chauncey Bratt, Emily Chang, Vince Chiu, Tiffany Cummins, Embry Kidd, Shawn Napier, Ilianys Rivera-Miranda, and Sean Shecter.

These cases are prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy.  United States Attorney Bentley, 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. It is also a part of ATF’s Frontline strategy to combat violent crime in our communities.

Field Division: Tampa Field Division