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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Florida
Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 11, 2023

Armed Career Criminal Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison on Drug Trafficking and Firearm Offenses

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – Carlos Kentral Kerney, 43, of Gainesville, Florida, was sentenced to a total of 30 years in federal prison following his conviction for possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, carrying a firearm during and in relation to drug trafficking, and possession of a firearm by a felon. Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida announced the sentence.

“This sentence ensures that our community will be safer and sends a message that there are real and severe consequences for federal firearm offenses,” said U.S. Attorney Coody. "Thanks to the outstanding work of our law enforcement partners, this armed felon has been called to account for his continued criminal conduct."

Kerney was convicted by a federal jury after a 3-day trial in January 2023. Evidence introduced at trial revealed that an Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputy conducted a traffic stop of Kerney for speeding on June 22, 2022. During the stop, the deputy observed the grip of a pistol sticking out from between the driver’s seat and center console. Deputies confirmed Kerney was a multi-time convicted felon and detained him in handcuffs. After being read his rights, Kerney denied ownership/knowledge of the firearm, claiming it must be his girlfriend’s gun because she has a Concealed Carry Permit. Further search of the vehicle led to discovery of 120 grams of marijuana, and varying amounts of cocaine, cocaine base, and a synthetic cathinone in the center console, two scales in the vehicle, and another small baggie of marijuana and $1000 cash on Kerney’s person.

“The Men and Women of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, in concert with our state and federal partners, will continue to pursue career felons who unlawfully possess firearms and who continuously try to peddle the poison of illegal narcotics on the streets of Alachua County, Florida. The mission to protect the safety and security of our citizens and visitors will always remain a top priority for this agency.” – Sheriff Clovis Watson, Jr.

Kerney had previously been convicted of twenty-five felonies and qualified as an Armed Career Criminal. Kerney’s imprisonment will be followed by six years of supervised release.

This conviction was the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Christopher M. Elsey prosecuted the case.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit

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