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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida
For Immediate Release
Roger B. Handberg, United States Attorney
Friday, October 21, 2022

Tampa Man Indicted for Illegally Possessing a Firearm While Confronting Citizens on Downtown Riverwalk

Tampa, FL – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging Meccos Donta Allen (38, Tampa) with unlawful possession of a firearm. If convicted, Allen faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years, and up to life, in federal prison.

Prosecutors alleged in open court that on July 29, 2022, Allen confronted multiple citizens along Tampa’s Riverwalk. In one instance, Allen approached a couple sitting on a swing. The couple departed, returning to their nearby residence, and Allen followed them and pointed a gun at them as they entered their complex. In a second incident, Allen confronted another couple that were sitting on a bench on the south end of Tampa’s Riverwalk. During this confrontation, Allen allegedly pointed his gun at one victim and groped another. Officers from the Tampa Police Department responded to the area and made contact with Allen, who fled on foot as the officers approached. While fleeing, Allen dropped a Glock pistol.

The indictment alleges that at the time of the incident, Allen had prior felony convictions for battery, delivery of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of cocaine with intent to deliver, and delivery of cocaine. Therefore, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Tampa Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David P. Sullivan. The forfeiture will be handled by Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne C. Nebesky.

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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