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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Federal Jury Convicts Career Criminal Of Firearm And Drug Distribution Offenses

Ocala, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that a federal jury has found Jovan Demetrius Fredericks (39, Ocala) guilty of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, possessing with the intent to distribute controlled substances, and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. Fredericks faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 20 years, and up to life, in federal prison. His sentencing hearing has not yet been set. Fredericks was indicted on January 9, 2019.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on the morning of September 29, 2018, officers from the Ocala Police Department encountered Fredericks at the Parkside Gardens public housing complex. Fredericks, a multi-convicted felon, immediately tried to conceal a hand-rolled cigarette containing illegal narcotics from the officers. When the officers stopped to investigate, they saw a loaded, full-size handgun with an extended 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—will qualify him as an Armed Career Criminal 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 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 is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated March 6, 2019