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Press Release

Florida Felon Sentenced To More Than Seven Years In Prison For Possessing Firearms

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

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich has sentenced Joseph James Belmont (28, Tampa) to seven years and eight months in federal prison for possessing firearms as a convicted felon. The Court also ordered him to forfeit the guns and ammunition used in the offense


Belmont pleaded guilty on August 22, 2017.


According to court documents, in November 2016, officers from the Tampa Police Department (TPD) stopped Belmont for a traffic violation that led to the discovery of a loaded handgun. Approximately three months later, TPD officers found Belmont passed out behind the wheel of a car, parked on the wrong side of the street, with the engine running. They knocked on the car door, and when Belmont opened it, officers saw another loaded handgun. 


Belmont’s prior convictions include robbery with a weapon and delivery of a controlled substance. As a convicted felon, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.


This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Tampa Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory T. Nolan.


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, Acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

Updated December 13, 2017

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses