For Immediate Release
Probationer Gets Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison
Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew today sentenced Theoridotes Collins (39, Sarasota) to 10 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm while on state probation. The Court also ordered him to forfeit a firearm and ammunition seized from his residence. Collins was found guilty in a stipulated bench trial on February 16, 2016.
According to court documents, on April 21, 2015, Collins was convicted of fraudulent use of a credit card and fraudulent use of personal identification arising out of a robbery in front of a Dollar Tree in Bradenton. He later used his victim’s credit/debit card. The Circuit Court sentenced Collins to a one-year term of probation for the credit card fraud charge. At the time of his conviction, Collins had 19 prior convictions, including a home invasion robbery.
After Collins was placed on probation, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office shared information with the Sarasota Police Department and ATF regarding Collins’s association with individuals suspected of being involved in recent shootings. On June 11, 2015, less than two months after Collins had been placed on state probation, the Florida Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole Field Service Office conducted a probation search of Collins’s residence in Sarasota. After two occupants falsely stated Collins was not at home, law enforcement officers saw him running out his back door into a neighbor’s yard. Collins was taken into custody and returned to the residence. During a search of his bedroom, the probation officers found a 9mm rifle and .40 caliber ammunition hidden between his mattress and a mattress pad. They also located crack cocaine, powder cocaine, baggies, a digital scale, and cash in the bedroom.
This is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program – a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy. United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III, and Regina Lombardo, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, are coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials including Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino and Manatee County Sheriff W. Brad Steube. It is also a part of ATF’s Frontline strategy to reduce gun violence in our communities.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Sarasota Police Department, and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Rachel Jones and Simon Gaugush.