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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Middle District of Florida

For Immediate Release

November 15, 2011

Robert E. O'Neill, United States Attorney

Contact: William Daniels, Public Affairs Officer
(813) 274-6136

Convicted Felon Who Shot at Motorists on I–4 Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison

Tampa, FL — U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces that U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore today sentenced Mario Lee Brown (35, Pinellas County) to 18 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Brown entered a guilty plea before Judge Whittemore on July 27, 2011.

According to court documents, on August 17, 2009, Brown was driving erratically on Interstate–4, while traveling east bound through Hillsborough and Polk counties. Multiple motorists called to report Brown’s reckless driving as well as to report that he was firing shots at other motorists also traveling on the interstate. Law enforcement officers were able to locate and stop Brown, where he was found possessing an AK–47 assault rifle, along with spent shell casings in the vehicle.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stacie B. Harris.

It is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods program – a nationwide, gun–violence reduction strategy led by ATF. United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill, along with Virginia O’Brien, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, is coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.