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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida
Roger B. Handberg, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Friday, February 2, 2024

Apopka Man Sentenced to More Than 3 Years in Prison in Connection with Gun Store Burglaries

ORLANDO, Fla. — U.S. District Judge Wendy W. Berger has sentenced Jeremy Middleton, 25, of Apopka, to three years and 10 months in federal prison for possession of stolen firearms. The court also ordered Middleton to forfeit the 13 stolen firearms he had in his possession. Middleton entered a guilty plea on Sept. 13, 2023.

According to court documents, on Jan. 4, 2023, Middleton drove to a federally licensed gun store in Melbourne and breached the back door with what appeared to be a grinder and a hammer. Middleton entered the store and stole 13 firearms, carrying them out in a black trash bag.

Suspect carrying firearms in a bag to a car

On Jan. 6, 2023, Middleton attempted to breach the door of a gun store in Clearwater but was disrupted by law enforcement and arrested. Two of the firearms stolen from the gun store in Melbourne were recovered in the vehicle Middleton was driving, and the 11 remaining stolen firearms were recovered from a trash bag in the yard at Middleton’s residence.

Firearms lying on the ground in a plastic bag

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), with assistance from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, the Melbourne Police Department, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and the Apopka Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Hu.

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 of Justice 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.


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