News and Press Releases

St. Petersburg Man Sentenced To 30 Years In Federal Prison For Possession Of Gun And Sale Of Drugs

June 19, 2012

Tampa, Florida - United States District Judge James D. Whittemore sentenced Patrick Leaks (36, St. Petersburg) yesterday to 30 years in federal prison for 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. The court also ordered Leaks to forfeit a firearm and 15 rounds of ammunition, which he possessed in connection with the above offenses.

A federal jury found Leaks guilty on October 5, 2011.

According to court documents and testimony presented at trial, on November 19, 2010, St. Petersburg Police officers 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, Leaks gained control of one of the officer's tasers. Officers subdued and arrested Leaks. During the search of the car, a loaded gun was discovered under the passenger seat and cocaine was found in the center console. Further investigation revealed that the gun and the drugs belonged to Leaks.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the St. Petersburg Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit. It was 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, 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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