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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Convicted Felon Who Fired At Occupied Vehicle Sentenced To Eight Years In Federal Prison

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew has sentenced Antonio Phillips (23, Tampa) to eight years in federal prison for possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon. Phillips had pleaded guilty on January 25, 2022.  

According to court documents, on December 1, 2020, in Tampa, Phillips and others were inside a white Infiniti and pulled out in front of another occupied vehicle.  The occupants of the Infiniti opened fire into the other vehicle’s windshield. After the shooting, law enforcement air support tracked the Infiniti, which had fled the scene. Video surveillance captured muzzle flashes coming from the passenger side of the Infiniti where Phillips was sitting. Numerous bullet holes were observed on the other vehicle. Phillips and others fled from the Infiniti, discarded weapons, jumped over fences and across yards before they were ultimately apprehended.

Officers recovered the firearms which had been discarded by the suspects. They included a Glock 19 (9mm), an FNH (.40-caliber), and a Glock 26 (9mm), along with a 50-round drum-style magazine and trigger mounted laser. Bullet casings recovered from the scene of the shooting had been fired from the Glock 19 and Glock 26 firearms.  An empty semi-automatic magazine was recovered from the Infiniti’s driver's door pocket, and an empty black pistol holster was recovered from the back right passenger’s seat of the vehicle. Spent bullet casings were recovered from the front and back passenger’s compartments. DNA belonging to Phillips and three other men was recovered from the Glock 26.

Prior to these events, Philips had been convicted of multiple felonies and therefore is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.  

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Tampa Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diego F. Novaes.

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated April 27, 2022