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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
Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Jacksonville Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Federal Prison on Fentanyl and Firearms Charges

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Senior U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr. has sentenced Mario Lenard Elbert, 34, Jacksonville, to seven years in federal prison for possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. Elbert had pleaded guilty on Aug. 22, 2023.

According to court documents, on May 11, 2022, a trooper from the Florida Highway Patrol conducted a traffic stop on Elbert’s vehicle due to traffic violations. Elbert fled from the vehicle on foot during the traffic stop but was apprehended following a short pursuit. Elbert had in his possession 54 grams of fentanyl and a loaded pistol. Elbert is prohibited from possessing firearms due to a South Carolina felony conviction (2019) for possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute it.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Highway Patrol. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Cannizzaro.

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 of Justice 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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