For Immediate Release
Winter Garden Man with Numerous Felony Convictions Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison
Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza has sentenced Kenneth Bernard Smith (55, Winter Garden) to 12 years in federal prison for possessing a loaded firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon, and for possessing with the intent to distribute heroin and cocaine. Smith had previously pleaded guilty to the offenses.
According to court documents, on February 8, 2019, deputies from the Orange County Sherriff’s Office responded to a call regarding a fatal drug overdose that had occurred in an apartment in Winter Garden, where Smith was the sole resident. The deputies found materials used in drug distribution, as well as more than 550 rounds of ammunition in the apartment. At the time, Smith had multiple prior felony convictions for drug distribution.
On February 20, 2019, law enforcement officers conducted an undercover purchase of cocaine from Smith. On March 6, 2019, officers executed a warrant at Smith’s home and seized cocaine and heroin, packaged for distribution, along with a loaded 10 mm firearm. As a previously convicted felon, Smith is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the Winter Garden Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dana E. Hill.
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 Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.