Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday today sentenced Jamal Smith (31, St. Petersburg) to 17 years and 6 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. The Court also ordered him to forfeit a firearm traceable to the offense. Smith pleaded guilty on February 27, 2017.
According to court documents, on September 1, 2015, a law enforcement officer observed a vehicle driven by Jamal Smith commit a traffic infraction. Smith initially fled in his vehicle, but later stopped and ran from the officer. A chase ensued, and Smith circled back to the vehicle and reached into the passenger side. The officer apprehended Smith and took him into custody. Law enforcement officers recovered a .45 caliber pistol from the glove box of the vehicle. At the time of the offense, Smith was a convicted felon and therefore was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law. Due to his multiple prior convictions for violent felony or serious drug offenses, he qualified for an increased penalty as an Armed Career Criminal.
This case was investigated by the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael V. Leeman and Michael C. Sinacore.
This 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 Muldrow, along with Daryl R. McCrary, 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.