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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
Friday, April 14, 2023

Leesburg Convicted Felon Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing a Firearm

Ocala, Florida – Senior United States District Judge Gregory A. Presnell has sentenced Timothy Eric Evans (41, Leesburg) under the Armed Career Criminal Act to 15 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. The court also ordered the forfeiture of the handgun and ammunition used in the offense. Evans had pleaded guilty on June 8, 2022.

According to court documents, on May 21, 2021, officers from the Tavares Police Department discovered Evans in possession of a stolen vehicle. During a search of the vehicle, officers located MDMA and a loaded handgun in the center console. Evans admitted that the MDMA belonged to him but denied possessing the firearm. An analysis of Evans’s cellphone revealed a large volume of messages and images of illegal narcotics and firearms, including messages in which Evans tried to buy and sell firearms.

Evans has eight prior state felony convictions, including attempted strongarm robbery (1998), robbery with a firearm (1998), aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (1998), strongarm robbery (2003), attempted second-degree murder (2008), possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (2008), sale of cocaine (2008), and possession of cocaine (2020). Therefore, he 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 Tavares Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Hannah Nowalk.

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