News and Press Releases

Armed Career Criminal Found Guilty Of Possessing A Firearm And Ammunition

July 18, 2012

Tampa, Florida - A federal jury yesterday found Willie C. Toney, a/k/a "Tony" (66, Tampa) guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years, up to life in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set. Toney was indicted on January 21, 2010.

According to evidence presented at trial, on October 1, 2009, officers with the Tampa Police Department responded to a "shots fired" 911 call in the Grant Park area in the early morning hours. Upon arrival, officers learned that Toney had been threatening residents and had fired two shots in the yard of his then-girlfriend's home. An eyewitness saw Toney, with a small caliber gun in his pocket, attempt to jump a fence and climb a tree to evade police. A short time later, officers spotted Toney jump down from the fence and toss an object to the ground. After a short foot chase, Toney was taken into custody. The object recovered was a .25 caliber Raven Arms pistol. Officers also recovered a matching .25 caliber magazine and 6 additional rounds of .25 caliber ammunition from Toney's pants pocket.

At the time of this offense, Toney was a previously convicted felon and prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition. His prior criminal history dates back to 1966 and includes convictions for aggravated assault, possession of narcotics, manslaughter, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Tampa Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Josephine W. Thomas.

It 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, 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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