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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
Tuesday, April 2, 2024

North Port Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Firearm from Firearms Dealer

Fort Myers, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that James Michael O’Brien (48, North Port) has pleaded guilty to theft of a firearm from a firearms dealer. O’Brien faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. He has also agreed to forfeit the stolen firearm. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the plea agreement, on January 17, 2024, O’Brien entered a federal firearms dealer in Charlotte County, concealed a pistol that was on display, and left the store without paying for it. When confronted by ATF personnel later that night about the firearm theft, O’Brien had the stolen pistol on his person.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being 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 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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