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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Career Criminal Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison On Federal Drug And Firearm Charges

Ocala, Florida – Senior United States District Judge James D. Whittemore has sentenced Jovan Demetrius Fredericks (40, Ocala) to 25 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances, and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. A federal jury had found Fredericks guilty of the offenses on March 5, 2019.

According to testimony and evidence presented in court, on the morning of September 29, 2018, officers from the Ocala Police Department encountered Fredericks at the Parkside Gardens public housing complex. Fredericks, a felon with multiple convictions, immediately tried to conceal a hand-rolled cigarette containing illegal drugs from the officers. When the officers stopped to investigate, they saw a loaded, full-size handgun with a 30-round ammunition magazine tucked into the waistband of Fredericks’s pants. After arresting Fredericks for the firearm, a search of his person revealed multiple packages of illegal drugs ready for sale, including MDMA (“ecstasy”), N-Ethylpentylone (“bath salts”), and cocaine. Fredericks’s extensive criminal record—which includes prior convictions for robbery, possession of a firearm by a felon, and repeated sales of illegal drugs—qualified him as both an Armed Career Criminal and a Career Offender for federal sentencing purposes.

This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

This case was jointly investigated by the City of Ocala Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated August 29, 2019