For Immediate Release
St. Petersburg Convicted Felon Sentenced to More Than Fifteen Years for Drug Trafficking and Firearms Charges
Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington has sentenced Jamel Middleton (27, St. Petersburg) to 15 years and 8 months in federal prison for possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The Court also ordered Middleton to forfeit approximately $7,500 is cash, an American Tactical semi-automatic rifle, a Norinco SKS semi-automatic rifle, a Springfield semi-automatic pistol, a Glock semi-automatic pistol, and assorted rounds of ammunition, which are traceable to proceeds of the offense and used in the commission of the offense. Middleton had pleaded guilty on March 8, 2023.
According to court documents, On February 17, 2022, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), along with Pinellas County Sheriff's Office (PCSO), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted a federal search warrant at a residence in St. Petersburg, where Middleton was found. During the search, agents located 56.79 grams of 100% pure methamphetamine. A field test of the white powdery substance showed a positive result for Mannitol, a commonly used cutting agent for narcotics. An additional 93.12 grams of a substance tested positive for fentanyl.
During the search of a bedroom on the northeast side of the residence, agents located a loaded handgun under the mattress. To the right of the handgun agents located a folder that had “Middleton, Jamel” written in black ink. Additionally, agents located two rifles inside the closet of the bedroom. Underneath the television within the bedroom was a black safe. Inside was a bag with six clear plastic baggies containing a crystalline substance and a handgun. The DEA laboratory determined the crystalline substance to be 658.58 grams of pure methamphetamine.
Middleton has multiple prior convictions, including for shooting at or within a building and sale of controlled substance. Therefore, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with assistance from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Samantha Beckman.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.