"Pines" Gun And Drug Dealer Sentenced To Thirty-One Years
Tampa, FL - U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday today sentenced Zavien Brand (28, Tampa) to thirty-one years in federal prison for distribution of crack cocaine, possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes, and being a felon in possession of firearms. Brand pled guilty on April 10, 2012.
According to court documents, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (HCSO), along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), initiated the "Pines Operation" in an effort to combat an ongoing drug and gang epidemic in a pair of apartment complexes located in Tampa. Approximately 52 individuals were arrested on state or federal charges as a result of the operation. During the course of the operation, Brand, a prior convicted felon, sold five guns to undercover law enforcement, on five different occasions. On seven occasions, Brand sold crack cocaine to undercover law enforcement, while he was carrying a firearm. At the time of the offenses, Brand had at least five prior state felony convictions.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas N. Palermo.