For Immediate Release
Pasco Felon Pleads Guilty to Possessing a Firearm and Trafficking in Methamphetamine
Tampa, FL – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Thomas Bellere (40, Pasco), a/k/a Tommy Gunz, has pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. He faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison. Bellere has also agreed to forfeit the firearm, which is traceable to the offense. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the plea agreement, on January 30, 2022, Bellere was in the driver’s seat of a parked vehicle with a stolen tag. A deputy from the Pasco Sheriff’s Office with a drug canine conducted an investigation (sniff) of the vehicle. The canine alerted on the car. Deputies conducted a search of the vehicle and observed a firearm (Smith & Wesson model 642, .38 caliber) partially under the driver’s seat. The firearm had been reported stolen. In addition, deputies located 107 grams of pure methamphetamine inside the vehicle.
Bellere has multiple felony convictions, including being a felon in possession of a firearm, leaving the scene of a crash involving injury, and felony battery. As such, he is 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 Pasco Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Samantha E. Beckman.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.