For Immediate Release
Palm Beach County Armed Career Criminal Sentenced to 20 Years for Unlawfully Possessing a Firearm and Narcotics Offenses
Bert Elizee, 29, of West Palm Beach, was sentenced last week by United States District Judge Kenneth A. Marra to 240 months in prison, to be followed by eight years of supervised release. The defendant previously pled guilty to being an Armed Career Criminal unlawfully in possession of a firearm and ammunition and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Peter J. Forcelli Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Ric Bradshaw, Sheriff, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO); and Jeffrey S. Katz, Chief, Boynton Beach Police Department (BBPD), made the announcement.
According to court documents:
On December 21, 2015, Elizee rear-ended a vehicle stopped for traffic on North Congress Avenue in Boynton Beach. Elizee fled the scene and a short time later plowed his vehicle into a parked car. Elizee and a passenger then fled on foot. During a tow inventory of Elizee’s abandoned vehicle officers located a fully loaded Glock, 40 caliber, semi-automatic pistol, and a receipt from a hotel in Boynton Beach. Officers located Elizee in the hotel and recovered heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine, oxycodone, alprazolam, marijuana, digital scales and cash, during the execution of a search warrant.
In a separate incident, on January 4, 2017, PBSO deputies heard the sound of screeching tires followed by a crash outside their substation, responded to the area and observed a silver BMW 4-door sedan lodged between a fence and a pole located on property of the Palm Beach International Airport. PBSO deputies immediately responded to the scene of the accident, and made contact with the vehicle’s driver, Elizee, to render assistance. Elizee however, refused to cooperate and fled from the scene on foot carrying a backpack. After a brief pursuit, Elizee was taken into custody and a law enforcement search of his backpack revealed a stolen, fully loaded Smith & Weston, .40 caliber, semi-automatic pistol. A search of Elizee’s abandoned vehicle yielded heroin, cocaine and Xanax, and four cellular phones, which search warrants later established contained communications concerning Elizee’s drug sales.
Prior to his commission of both offenses, Elizee had three separate prior felony convictions for drug sales offenses and one prior felony conviction for battery on a law enforcement officer. As a consequence, Elizee was subject to the enhanced sentencing provisions of the federal Armed Career Criminal Act.
Mr. Greenberg commended the ATF, PBSO, and the Boynton Beach Police Department for their work on this matter. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John McMillan.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the anti-gang, anti-gun violence initiative of the United States Department of Justice. This program emphasizes and facilitates cooperative federal, state and local prosecution of firearm crimes, violent criminals, repeat violent offenders and gang related criminal activity.