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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
Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Convicted Felon Indicted for Possessing Methamphetamine with Intent To Distribute and Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking

TAMPA, Fla — U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging Lewis James Scott, 35, of Tampa, with one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. If convicted of the narcotics charge, Scott faces up to 20 years in prison. If convicted of the first firearm charge, he faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. This charge also carries a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison, to run consecutive to any other sentence. The second firearm charge for possessing the firearm as a convicted felon carries up to 15 years in federal prison.

According to the indictment, Scott has previously been convicted of a felony for tampering with physical evidence. The indictment charges that on Sept. 4, 2023, Scott possessed methamphetamine with intent to distribute it. It also alleges that on Sept. 4, 2023, Scott possessed a Smith and Wesson Model M&P Bodyguard .380 and three rounds of ammunition and possessed this firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

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 ATF and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha Newman.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders works together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.


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