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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, September 18, 2023

Naples Man Sentenced for Possessing Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime

Fort Myers, Florida – U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Barber has sentenced Michael Karp (50, Naples) to five years in federal prison for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Karp had pleaded guilty on June 22, 2023.

According to court documents, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) opened an investigation into Karp in 2022, during which Karp met with an undercover ATF agent who was posing as a drug dealer needing protection during drug deals. Karp indicated to the agent that he participated in that kind of work. On May 23, 2023, Karp met at a hotel in Naples believing that he was going to protect a drug sale of five pounds of methamphetamine. In reality, the drug transaction was for the sale of imitation methamphetamine between two undercover ATF agents. Karp stood by with a pistol as the transaction took place.

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

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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