News and Press Releases

Armed Career Criminal Sentenced to over Fifteen Years in Prison

January 1, 2011

Tampa, Florida - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that U.S. District Judge James S. Moody yesterday sentenced Michael Petite (37, St. Petersburg) to 15 years, 8 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after previously being convicted of a felony. Petite was found to be an armed career criminal. He pled guilty on June 20, 2011.

According to court documents, on December 16, 2010, Petite agreed to sell crack cocaine to an undercover police officer. When Petite arrived at the agreed-upon location, he had a loaded firearm in his possession, as well as less than one gram of crack cocaine. Petite has multiple prior felony convictions, including robbery and sale of cocaine.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the St. Petersburg Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sara C. Sweeney.

This case was prosecuted as 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.


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