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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
Monday, October 31, 2022

Jacksonville Convicted Felon Charged With Armed Trafficking of Fentanyl and Possession of a Machine Gun

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging Mario Lenard Elbert (33, Jacksonville) with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a machine gun. If convicted of the drug offense, Elbert faces a maximum term of 20 years in federal prison. If convicted of the firearms offenses, he faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 5 years, and up to life, in federal prison for carrying a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and up to 15 years’ imprisonment for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. The indictment also notifies Elbert that the United States intends to forfeit the firearms and ammunition traceable to the offense.

According to the indictment, on May 11, 2022, Elbert possessed fentanyl with the intent to distribute it, during which time he had a firearm and ammunition in his possession. On September 7, 2022, Elbert was in possession of a machinegun. At the time of the incident, Elbert was a convicted felon. As a previously convicted felon, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

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 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Jacksonville Sherriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John Cannizzaro. The forfeiture will be handled by Assistant United States Attorney Mai Tran.

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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