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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
Thursday, April 27, 2023

Duval Man Pleads Guilty to Lying on a Federal Form While Attempting To Purchase a Firearm While Subject to an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Dr. Rakesh Verma (46, Jacksonville) has pleaded guilty to making a false statement to a federal firearms dealer. Verma faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to court records, on October 16, 2020, Verma attempted to purchase a Smith and Wesson, 9mm pistol from a federally licensed firearms dealer. Verma falsely stated that he was not subject to a court order restraining him from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner, when in fact he was subject to a permanent injunction for protection against domestic violence. The instant background check prevented Verma from receiving the firearm. All instant background denials are referred to law enforcement for possible prosecution.

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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