For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 15, 2018
, United States Attorney
Maria Chapa Lopez
Contact: William Daniels
St. Petersburg Man Convicted of Federal Firearms Offense
Tampa Field Division
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that a federal jury has found Devin Fabian Collins (25, St. Petersburg) guilty of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. He faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years, up to life, in federal prison. His sentencing is scheduled for May 15, 2018.
Collins was indicted on May 18, 2017.
According to evidence presented at trial, Collins drove recklessly through St. Petersburg as he was being followed by a police helicopter. After he pulled into an apartment complex, officers arrived at scene. Collins fled on foot, while tossing drugs and a gun. At the time of the incident, Collins had a prior felony conviction and therefore was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Pinellas County Violence Crimes Task Force. The Violent Crimes Task Force is comprised of officers from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Petersburg Police Department, and the Clearwater Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys James Preston and Callan Albritton.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our 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 in 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.