For Immediate Release
Tampa Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing Firearm
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Deandre Riviera Lopez (33, Tampa) has pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Lopez faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years, up to life, in federal prison under the Armed Career Criminal Act. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the court documents, on May 15, 2022, officers with the Tampa Police Department (“TPD”) arrested Lopez on an active felony warrant from the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County. During Lopez’s arrest, the officers observed Lopez reach for an item near his waist. A search of Lopez revealed a Century Arms “Canik” TP9 Elite Combat Semi-Automatic Pistol tucked near Lopez’s waist. The firearm was loaded with 14 rounds of ammunition. Lopez later admitted that he always carries a firearm for personal protection and that he had owned the pistol for several months. At the time, Lopez had multiple prior felony convictions and had served time in Florida State Prison. As a convicted felon Lopez is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
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.
This case was investigated by Tampa Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David W.A. Chee.