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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

January 12, 2010

A. Brian Albritton, United States Attorney

Contact: Steve Cole

(813) 274-6136

(813) 274-6300 (fax)

St. Petersburg Man Who Led Tampa Police on High-Speed Chase Indicted on Federal Drug and Gun Charges

Tampa, Florida — United States Attorney A. Brian Albritton and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Virginia O’Brien announce the return by a federal grand jury an indictment charging Aaron Cainion (age 31, of St. Petersburg) with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted on all counts, Cainion faces a minimum penalty of fifteen years in federal prison, and a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

According to court documents, at approximately 9:00 p.m. on January 2, 2010, officers with the Tampa Police Department (TPD) attempted to pull over Cainion for reckless driving on I-275 in Tampa. Cainion hit the police car with his own vehicle and then sped away. He then led TPD, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, and the St. Petersburg Police Department on a high-speed chase across the Howard Franklin Bridge and into St. Petersburg. When Cainion exited at 54th Avenue, officers used a precision immobilization technique (PIT) maneuver to end the chase.

When officers removed Cainion from the car, they found him in possession of approximately one kilogram of cocaine, $3,024, and a loaded Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the Tampa Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher F. Murray