Tampa, Florida — On October 30, 2013, U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday sentenced Ronald Mark Nixon, Jr. (22, St. Petersburg) to 15 years and 8 months in federal prison for carrying firearms during and in relation to drug trafficking crimes. Nixon pleaded guilty to that charge on August 15, 2013. Judge Merryday also sentenced Kristopher Jamel Burgess (23, Pinellas Park), on October 15, 2013, to 7 years and 9 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of firearms and for carrying those firearms during and in relation to drug trafficking crimes. Burgess pleaded guilty to those charges on August 1, 2013.
According to court documents, on the evening of October 28, 2012, Burgess and Nixon fled from law enforcement, after officers attempted to stop the car in which they were traveling. Burgess fled on foot and was eventually apprehended by the officers. Nixon was apprehended in the car. When the officers searched the car, they found two loaded firearms, distribution amounts of marijuana, and drug paraphernalia. Both Burgess and Nixon were convicted felons at the time of the incident.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the St. Petersburg Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph W. Swanson.
It is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s "Project Safe Neighborhoods" program – a nationwide, gun–violence reduction strategy. Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III, along with Julie Leon, 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.