For Immediate Release
Tampa Man Sentenced for Stealing Firearms from Lakeland Gun Stores
Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew today sentenced Oscar Garcia Garcia (33, Tampa) to 30 months in federal prison for stealing firearms from a federal firearm licensee. He pleaded guilty on May 15, 2017.
According to court documents, on January 9, 2017, Garcia and his co-defendant, Jerry Nelson Reyes Torres, burglarized Rapture Guns and Knives in Lakeland and stole 58 firearms from a display case. On January 29, 2017, Garcia and Torres broke into Guns Galore in Lakeland and stole 46 firearms. On both occasions, the men arrived in a vehicle, entered the store by dismantling the lock on the front door, broke into display cases, used duffel bags to remove firearms, and then returned to their vehicle and fled the area.
In February 2017, law enforcement detained Garcia and another male after observing them smoking marijuana in a vehicle outside the residence of Garcia and Torres. The other individual told the officers that Garcia had given him two firearms to hold, and he consented to a search of his nearby residence. Officers recovered two of the firearms stolen from Rapture Guns and Knives from a suitcase found in that home.
On March 14, 2017, a superseding indictment was returned charging Jerry Nelson Reyes Torres with stealing firearms from a federal firearm licensee and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. A warrant has been issued for his arrest and he is currently at large. An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Sinacore.
This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy. Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow, along with Daryl McCrary, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, are 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 also a part of ATF’s Frontline Strategy on reducing violent crime in communities.