Convicted Felon Faces up to Life in Federal Prison
Orlando, Florida - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that a federal jury late Thursday found Ronald William Jones (24, Orlando) guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute it, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Jones faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 12, 2012 before United States District Judge Charlene Honeywell. Jones was indicted on November 3, 2010.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Jones was apprehended by deputies from the Orange County Sheriff's Office on February 8, 2010, after he was involved in a car accident while attempting to avoid a speeding checkpoint. After hitting a power pole with his car, Jones immediately fled the crash on foot, but was captured by deputies a short distance away. Inside of Jones' car, deputies recovered a loaded semi-automatic handgun on the driver's floorboard, a box of ammunition on the back seat, and a plastic container with 17.9 grams of crack cocaine in the dashboard. The serial number on the firearm had been intentionally removed. Jones subsequently admitted that the items in the car belonged to him. As a previously convicted felon for narcotics distribution, Jones is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.
This case was investigated by the Orange County Sheriff's Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.
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.