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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
Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Tampa Man on Federal Supervised Release Pleads Guilty to Firearm and Narcotics Offenses

TAMPA, Fla. — U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Benjamin Cedric Graddy, 40, of Tampa, has pleaded guilty to possessing with the intent to distribute dimethylpentylone and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Graddy faces a minimum mandatory penalty of five years, up to life, in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the plea agreement, on March 17, 2023, officers from the Tampa Police Department observed a vehicle being driven by Graddy fail to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of 22nd Street North and 27th Avenue East in Ybor City. During the traffic stop, the officers smelled the odor of marijuana and observed white powder in plain view on the driver’s floorboard. A search of the vehicle revealed a Glock 22 .40 caliber firearm located in the vehicle’s center console. The officers also recovered a distribution amount of dimethylpentylone (67.56 grams) as well as N-ethylpentylone in two containers inside the vehicle.

At the time of the offense, Graddy was also on federal supervised release for a prior felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition conviction. He also had multiple prior felony convictions, including attempted felony murder, attempted robbery with a deadly weapon, attempted burglary of an occupied building and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. As a convicted felon, Graddy is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Tampa Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David W.A. Chee and Diego F. Novaes.

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 of Justice 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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