For Immediate Release
St. Petersburg Man Pleads Guilty to Multiple Fentanyl Distribution Counts and Possessing a Firearm As a Convicted Felon
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that William Lee Shumaker, Jr. (39, St. Petersburg) has pleaded guilty to four counts of possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute it, and one count of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Shumaker faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each controlled substance offense and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for the firearm offense. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to court documents, Shumaker, a convicted felon, sold quantities of fentanyl to undercover law enforcement officers on multiple occasions and in increasingly large amounts in March and April 2021. During one of the fentanyl transactions, Shumaker also sold a Ruger .357 Magnum revolver and also offered to sell a .22 caliber pistol. As a previously convicted felon, Shumaker is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
This case was investigated by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David W.A. Chee.
This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.