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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Middle District of Florida

For Immediate Release

February 24, 2012

Robert E. O’Neill, United States Attorney

Contact: William Daniels
(813) 274-6388

Tampa Man Sentenced to More Than 29 Years for Armed Robbery

Tampa, Florida – U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces that U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich today sentenced Kenneth H. Burke, Jr. (40, Tampa) to 29 years and 7 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery affecting interstate commerce, using a firearm during a crime of violence, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Burke had previously been convicted of felonies, including three bank robberies.

Burke was found guilty by a federal jury on December 2, 2011.

According to evidence presented at trial, on January 29, 2011, Burke and another man attempted to rob a Polk County convenience store. During the incident, Burke, who was armed with a gun, pushed aside one victim who tried to prevent him from entering the convenience store and pushed a convenience store clerk to the ground. When the prone convenience store clerk moved, Burke shot him in the back. The convenience store clerk also suffered injuries to his head. Burke and his accomplice fled the scene. The victim was hospitalized.

This case was investigated by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys James Muench and Mark E. Bini.

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.