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Press Release

Bradenton Man Sentenced To Additional Prison Term For Possessing Firearm During Police Chase

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday today sentenced Dovantate Wright (26, Bradenton) to two years and six months in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Wright entered a guilty plea on March 8, 2024. The federal sentence was imposed consecutively to a separate sentence of five and six months imposed in Manatee County.  

According to court documents, on September 2, 2022, Wright was the front seat passenger of a vehicle driving in the wrong direction on a one-way road in Sarasota, Florida. Officers from the Sarasota Police Department stopped the vehicle, and Wright fled on foot into an auto parts store. Inside the store, Wright ran behind the counter into the back of the store where he stumbled into a product bin as he attempted to pull from his waistband a fully loaded Smith and Wesson model 40C .40 caliber pistol with one round in the chamber. 

During an interview with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Wright admitted to possessing the firearm and to being a convicted felon. Wright previously served three years in Florida State Prison for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and grand theft of a motor vehicle. As a convicted felon, Wright is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.  

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Sarasota Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David W.A. Chee.

Updated June 17, 2024

Topics
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses