For Immediate Release
South Tampa Man Sentenced to More Than 12 Years for Gun and Drug Violations
Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday today sentenced Christopher Bowen Balfrey (26, Tampa) to 12 years and 7 months in federal prison for drug conspiracy, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The Court also forfeited a 2006 Cadillac Deville, a traceable proceed of the offenses.
Balfrey pleaded guilty to the charges on February 8, 2016.
According to court documents, law enforcement identified Balfrey and his associates as convicted felons who were in possession of firearms. Many of the firearms Balfrey possessed were stolen from residences in the South Tampa area. Law enforcement met with Balfrey on multiple occasions, where they purchased drugs and stolen firearms from him. While executing a federal search warrant at Balfrey’s residence, law enforcement seized three firearms, powder cocaine, assorted ammunition, marijuana and $2,636.00 in cash.
As a previously convicted felon, Balfrey is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Tampa Police Department as part of a Violent Crime Initiative. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stacie B. Harris.
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.