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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 17, 2022

Sumter County Man Sentenced to Three Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Destructive Devices, Firearms, and Silencers

Ocala, Florida – Senior United States District Judge Gregory A. Presnell has sentenced James Clay Bexley (35, Center Hill) to three years in federal prison for possessing unregistered destructive devices and firearm silencers and for possessing firearms in violation of a domestic violence injunction. Bexley had pleaded guilty on July 28, 2022.

According to court records, Bexley was arrested at his home after contacting his wife in violation of an injunction. Deputies from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office located six firearms, two silencers, and two small explosive devices in Bexley’s vehicle. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad then responded and discovered two destructive devices (pipe bombs) on Bexley’s front porch. After obtaining a search warrant, federal agents recovered approximately 35 pounds of explosive materials and bomb-making equipment from within the residence, along with an additional 12 firearms and two silencers.

Firearm silencers and destructive devices, such as pipe bombs, are illegal to possess unless registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. None of Bexley’s silencers or destructive devices had been registered as required under federal law. Furthermore, it is also a federal crime to possess firearms while subject to a domestic violence injunction.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tyrie K. Boyer. 

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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