DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, September 5, 2017
W. Stephen Muldrow
, United States Attorney
Contact: William Daniels

Sarasota Man Sentenced to More than Nene Years for Possessing Destructive Device, Firearms, and Ammunition

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich has sentenced Steven M. Pace (25, Sarasota) to nine years and one month in federal prison for possessing four destructive devices and for knowingly possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The Court also ordered him to forfeit the firearms and ammunition seized as part of this case.
 
Pace pleaded guilty on January 23, 2017.
 
According to court documents, in February 2016, Pace, along with Katie Smith, possessed two improvised pipe bombs and two improvised grenades. He also possessed with the intent to distribute approximately 280 grams of AB-fubinaca, a synthetic form of marijuana. Pace and Smith had a number of firearms in their home, one of which was stolen. Pace admitted to carrying at least one of those firearms during his drug transactions. 
 
Smith previously pleaded guilty to possessing destructive devices and was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.
 
This case was jointly investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kaitlin R. O’Donnell.
 
This is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy.  Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow, along with Daryl R. McCrary, 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.
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Field Division: Tampa Field Division