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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
Friday, February 24, 2023

Tampa Man Who Led Officers on High-Speed Chase Sentenced to More Than Six Years for Firearm and Drug Trafficking Offenses

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle has sentenced Raequin Smith (27, Tampa) to six years and three months in federal prison for possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Smith had pleaded guilty on December 1, 2022.

According to court documents, on April 5, 2022, Smith was stopped by law enforcement for driving at a high rate of speed. When asked to exit the vehicle, Smith fled in the vehicle. Police helicopters were dispatched and located Smith driving at a high rate of speed and disregarding traffic signals through busy roadways in Tampa. Officers used spike strips to disable Smith’s vehicle, but Smith fled on foot, discarding a bookbag in a driveway as he ran. Officers pursued Smith until he was apprehended. They retrieved the bookbag which contained a firearm, ammunition, cocaine, marijuana, two digital scales, and multiple empty baggies.

This case was investigated by the Tampa Police Department and the Strategic Pattern Armed Robbery Technical Apprehension (SPARTA) unit of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Maria Guzman.

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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