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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, November 7, 2022

Lehigh Acres Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Straw Purchasing Firearms for a Mexican Drug Cartel

Fort Myers, Florida – U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell has sentenced Brown Dimas III (27, Lehigh Acres) to three years and one month in federal prison for falsifying records relating to firearms purchases. Dimas had pleaded guilty on August 4, 2022.

According to court records, between November 2018 and March 2019, Dimas purchased several high-powered rifles from licensed gun dealers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral at the request of a Mexican drug cartel. Such an act is often referred to as “straw purchasing.” For each purchase, Dimas falsely certified in ATF paperwork that he was purchasing the firearms for himself, when in truth he knew he was purchasing them for a Mexican drug cartel in exchange for cash kickbacks. After the firearms were purchased, Dimas would travel to Laredo, Texas to offload the guns to a cartel associate. Since late 2019, four firearms straw-purchased by Dimas in southwest Florida have been recovered by Mexican military personnel in or near Tamaulipas, Mexico, following firefights with suspected cartel members.

This case was investigated the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Simon R. Eth.

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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