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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 24, 2022

Lakeland Convicted Felon Indicted for Possessing a Firearm and Ammunition

Tampa, FL - United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging Eddie Winman Thomas (32, Lakeland) with possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon. If convicted, Thomas faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. The indictment also notifies Thomas that the United States intends to forfeit the firearm and ammunition traceable to the offense.

According to the indictment, on April 28, 2022, Thomas was in possession of a firearm and ammunition. At the time of the incident, Thomas had previous felony convictions for Hobbs Act Robbery and conspiracy to obstruct commerce by robbery. As a previously convicted felon, Thomas 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 Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael R. Kenneth. The forfeiture will be handled by Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne C. Nebesky.

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 out 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 first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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