DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, January 18, 2018
Maria Chapa Lopez
, United States Attorney
Contact: William Daniels

Orlando Felon Sentenced to 9 Years for Possessing a Firearm and Narcotics

Orlando, FL – U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. has sentenced Arkee Vernard Howard (27, Orlando) to 9 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon and for possessing with the intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. He pleaded guilty on September 27, 2017.
 
According to court documents, at approximately 3:30 a.m. on December 23, 2016, officers from the Orlando Police Department approached a vehicle stopped at an intersection with a green light and found Howard asleep behind the wheel. He admitted to the officers that he had drugs in his car and a search of the vehicle revealed more than 13 grams of cocaine, 3 grams of heroin, 300 grams of marijuana, and approximately 2 grams of methamphetamine. The officers also located a stolen .40 caliber pistol with a full magazine and a round in the chamber.
 
At the time of his arrest in December 2016, Howard had multiple prior felony convictions and is, therefore, prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
 
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Orlando Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn P. Napier.
 
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In October 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to develop districtwide crime reduction strategies, incorporating the lessons learned since the program’s inception in 2001. 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.
###
Field Division: Tampa Field Division