For Immediate Release
United States Attorney Commends Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for Combating Violent Crime
Tampa, FL – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced today the results of the United States Attorney’s Office’s ongoing efforts to fight violent crime through a partnership with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO). In 2022, federal prosecutors and HCSO worked together to prosecute 69 individuals for federal crimes, including firearms and drug offenses. In total, these prosecutions removed 53 firearms from our streets. The prosecutions supported by HCSO include:
- United States vs. Keon Moore – Moore, a high-ranking member of the Money Power Respect gang, was sentenced to 17 years and 6 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm or ammunition as a convicted felon and for possessing controlled substances with an intent to distribute them. Prior to being apprehended, Moore stored guns and drugs for use by himself and others, sold guns and drugs, and threatened violence to collect drug debts. In one of Moore’s private Facebook communications, a person to whom Moore had provided drugs on consignment, but who failed to pay on time, begged Moore not to kill him via drive-by shooting over the $90 he owed Moore.
- United States vs. Jy’Quale Grable – A federal jury found Grable guilty of conspiracy, robbery, and first-degree premeditated murder. Grable, along with his co-conspirators, drove to the Valrico Station Apartments in Brandon to conduct a robbery. During the robbery, Grable shot one victim in the neck, severing his spinal cord and killing him instantly. Grable also shot another victim in the chest, perforating his heart and lung, leading to his death. Grable faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life in federal prison.
- United States vs. Ma’at Malik Darius Lee – A federal grand jury returned a seven-count indictment charging Lee with carjacking, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, two counts of aggravated identity theft, two counts of attempted wire fraud, and possessing a stolen firearm. The indictment alleges that from July 9 to October 27, 2021, Lee robbed three individuals at gunpoint and carjacked a fourth. When an HCSO deputy located Lee in the stolen vehicle and attempted to make a traffic stop, Lee responded by firing at least eight rounds and fleeing the scene. If convicted, Lee faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
“Fighting violent crime is one of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s core goals,” said U.S. Attorney Handberg. “Fortunately, we are not alone in striving to eradicate violent crime. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, under the leadership of Sheriff Chronister, stands shoulder-to-shoulder with us and continues to play a key role in prosecuting violent criminals. We look forward to continuing to join with HCSO and our other law enforcement partners to make Hillsborough County safer for its citizens.”
“Our duty is to ensure the residents of Hillsborough County are safe and protected against anyone wishing to commit violent crimes,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister. “We have no tolerance for those who want to victimize our community. We are thankful for our partnership with the U.S Attorney’s Office; it’s relationships like these that make our county a strong, safe, and welcoming environment.”
The cases listed above were investigated by HCSO, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. They are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Cal Albritton, Samantha Beckman, Charlie Connally, Michael Gordon, Maria Guzman, Michael Kenneth, Christopher Murray, Samantha Newman, Diego Novaes, James Preston, Michael Sinacore, Ilyssa Spergel, and David Sullivan.
The majority of these cases are a 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.