Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
Sanford Man Indicted on Federal Charges as Part of ATF and Sanford Police Violent Crime Reduction Initiative
Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the return of an indictment charging Karl William Calhoun (40, Sanford) with being a felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. Calhoun is the first person federally charged as part of a new local violent crime reduction initiative – “Operation Ceasefire.”
On February 19, 2016, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Sanford Police Department, and federal and state prosecutors initiated “Operation Cease Fire” in the City of Sanford to target firearm offenses and drug crimes. The goal of the initiative is to investigate and prosecute repeat offenders to reduce violent crime in the City of Sanford.
According to the indictment, on February 17, 2016, in Seminole County, Calhoun was found to be in possession of a Beretta .25 caliber pistol. Prior to the incident, he had been twice convicted for aggravated assault, a felony. As such, he was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith stated, “I would like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Seminole County State Attorney’s Office, and ATF for their combined efforts in assisting the Sanford Police Department in combating the gun violence within our community. It is our first goal to educate the community on how to remain safe, and secondly to arrest those who choose to continue violating the law.”
This case was investigated by ATF and the Sanford Police Department’s Neighborhood Response Unit. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tiffany L. Cummins.
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, along with Regina Lombardo, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, is coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials. It is also a part of ATF’s Frontline strategy to reduce violent crime in our communities.