St. Petersburg Man Convicted on Drug and Firearms Charges
Tampa, Florida - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that a federal jury yesterday found Patrick Leaks (35, St. Petersburg) guilty of possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony, possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute it, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Leaks faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison on the on the firearm charge, 30 years on the drug charge, and a mandatory minimum of 5 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 23, 2012. Leaks was indicted on January 19, 2011.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on November 19, 2010 St. Petersburg police stopped a car, in which Leaks was a passenger, for a traffic violation. When officers attempted to detain Leaks, he fled and violently resisted arrest, at one point gaining control of an officer's taser. Officers managed to subdue and arrest Leaks. The car was searched, and a loaded gun was discovered under the passenger seat of the car and cocaine was discovered in the center console of the car. Further investigation revealed the gun and drugs belonged to Leaks.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sara C. Sweeney.
This 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 Tampa Field Division, is coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.