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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Roger B. Handberg, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Fort Myers Man Sentenced To Federal Prison for Unlawfully Possessing Firearm as a Convicted Felon

Fort Myers, Florida – U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell has sentenced Alphonso Lataurean James (29, Fort Myers) to seven years and eight months in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a previously convicted felon. The court also ordered James to forfeit the firearm and ammunition possessed during the offense. James had pleaded guilty on March 7, 2023.

According to court records, during the morning of August 10, 2022, officers from the Fort Myers Police Department (FMPD) conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in which James was the front-seat passenger. Officers later searched the vehicle and, inside a camouflage bag that James had been seen wearing earlier that morning, officers located a loaded Glock handgun equipped with an extended magazine. In a velvet Crown Royal bag found near the camouflage bag, officers found more than a half-ounce of fentanyl. As a convicted felon, James is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.

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.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Fort Myers Police Department, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Simon R. Eth.

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