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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

Sanford Felon Sentenced to more than 21 Years for Selling Drugs and Firearms in Orlando

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron has sentenced Christopher Gerard Dickerson (39, Sanford) to 21 years and 10 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances, distribution and possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. A federal jury found him guilty on October 23, 2017.  

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Dickerson conspired with others to possess and sell street-level quantities of heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, and crack. On two occasions in September 2016, in parking lots in east Orlando, Dickerson sold grams of heroin to a confidential informant who was working for law enforcement. Thereafter, he agreed to sell firearms and drugs to an undercover agent with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. 

On March 17, 2017, at a hotel on International Drive in Orlando, Dickerson and a co-conspirator, David Charles Heineman, sold the undercover agent seven firearms, a bag of cocaine, ammunition, and a large-capacity drum magazine for one of the firearms. The firearms included semiautomatic pistols, a tactical rifle, shotguns, and an AK-47 style firearm. Three of the seven firearms had been reported stolen. Heineman also later sold two additional firearms, two bulletproof vests, and other drugs to the undercover agent.   

On April 19, 2017, agents executed a federal search warrant at Dickerson’s and Heineman’s apartment in Titusville. After Dickerson’s arrest, agents recovered a stash of drugs from the apartment, including crack and fentanyl. 

Due to his multiple prior felony convictions, including possession of cocaine, delivery of hydromorphone, possession of cocaine with the intent to sell or deliver, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, Dickerson is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

On October 3, 2017, Heineman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possessing with the intent to distribute controlled substances and possessing a firearm as an unlawful user of a controlled substance. On December 20, 2017, he was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months’ imprisonment.  

“ATF’s primary focus is protecting the public by reducing violent crime,” said Special Agent in Charge Daryl McCrary. “ATF continues to aggressively pursue violent offenders and will continue to protect and serve communities with our law enforcement partners.”

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Orlando Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sean P. Shecter and former Assistant United States Attorney Andrew C. Searle.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a historical program involving the successful collaboration of law enforcement, at all levels, to reduce violent crime and making 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 (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