For Immediate Release
Tampa Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Possessing a Firearm and Ammunition
Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore yesterday sentenced Ulrich Johnson (27, Tampa) to 15 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. The Court also ordered Johnson to forfeit the firearm and ammunition. Johnson pleaded guilty on April 24, 2014.
According to court documents, on June 2, 2013, officers from the Tampa Police Department attempted to pull over a car in which Johnson was the passenger. The driver of the car, Johnson’s co-defendant, Michael Caro, refused to pull over and fled from the officers. As the driver fled, Johnson threw a loaded firearm and a pill bottle containing crack cocaine, which had been intended for distribution, from the car’s window. The officers eventually apprehended Johnson and Caro. Prior to possessing the firearm and ammunition, Johnson had been convicted of multiple felony offenses. As such, he was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
Michael Caro, also a previously convicted felon, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm in December 2013. On June 26, 2014, he was sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment by U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Tampa Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph W. Swanson.
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 Trevor Velinor, Acting 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. It is another example of ATF’s Frontline Strategy to impact violent crime within our communities.