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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, June 30, 2023

Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty to Trying To Buy Two Firearms

Jacksonville, FL – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Byron Jones, Jr. (34, Jacksonville) has pleaded guilty to making a false statement to a federally licensed firearms dealer during the attempted purchase of two firearms. Jones faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.

According to court documents, Jones completed an ATF Form 4473 during his attempted purchase of two 9mm pistols from Academy Sports and Outdoors, a federally licensed firearms dealer. Jones indicated on the required paperwork that he was not a convicted felon despite having felony convictions from 2015 and 2018 for illegal drug possession and carrying a concealed firearm.

This is another case uncovered through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). All NICS denials are reported to federal law enforcement and reviewed daily for potential criminal prosecution. Federal law makes it a felony offense to make a false statement to a firearms dealer when trying to buy a firearm.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Talbot.

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 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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