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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
Thursday, June 22, 2023

Tarpon Spring Man Who Threatened To Commit Violence to a Child and Grandmother Arrested and Charged

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the arrest and filing of a criminal complaint charging Antonio McCray (22, Tarpon Springs) with possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony. If convicted, McCray faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison. McCray made his initial appearance on June 21, 2023, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Amanda Arnold Sansone, and was ordered detained pending trial.

According to the complaint and evidence introduced during his detention hearing, on October 29, 2022, McCray was a passenger in the backseat of a vehicle that was pulled over by deputies from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. The deputies observed and seized a firearm located under the back side of the front passenger seat, underneath McCray’s feet. The firearm, a loaded 9-millimeter Springfield “Hellcat” pistol, had previously been reported stolen. A search warrant executed on McCray’s phone revealed various messages sent by McCray, including one in which he said, “listen bra if u care about ur son an ur grandma have my money by Thursday…or I’m coming for u n ur family.” DNA swabs taken from the Hellcat pistol matched McCray’s DNA. Additionally, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement determined that the ammunition found inside of the pistol matched casings utilized in a recent drive-by shooting in Hernando County.

A complaint 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 Hernando County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney 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 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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