News and Press Releases

Two Convicted Felons Sentenced For Federal Firearms Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 19, 2013

Tampa, Florida– U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday today sentenced David P. Lawrence (26, Bradenton) to 11 years and 8 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Previously, on November 6, 2013, co-defendant Mark Alan Finehout (37, Sarasota) was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Lawrence and Finehout were indicted on June 12, 2013. Both men pleaded guilty to the charges in August 2013.

According to court documents, on April 17, 2013, Lawrence and Finehout purchased a .40 caliber Taurus pistol from another man.  During the transaction, Lawrence and Finehout took pictures of the Taurus pistol, and a Norinco model SKS rifle that they were interested in purchasing.  A search warrant executed on Lawrence’s cellphone recovered pictures of the Taurus pistol, the SKS rifle, and text messages sent to an individual regarding the potential re-sale of both the Taurus pistol and the SKS rifle. Lawrence and Finehout are previously convicted felons and prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

This case was jointly investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark E. Bini.

It is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy.  Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III, along with Julie Leon, 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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