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Press Release

Fort Myers Armed Career Criminal Sentenced To 18 Years In Prison For Illegally Possessing Firearm

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

Fort Myers, Florida – U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Barber has sentenced Richard James Bassett, Jr. (47, Fort Myers) to 18 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon and for violating the conditions of supervised release from a prior federal drug conviction. Bassett had pleaded guilty on July 16, 2021.   

According to court documents, on November 14, 2019, law enforcement officers observed Bassett entering an apartment in Fort Myers, Florida, shortly before the officers executed a search warrant on that apartment.  Inside the apartment, officers observed Bassett standing in the kitchen area near a black and grey speckled backpack that he was seen carrying when he entered the apartment. Officers discovered quantities of different narcotics, including cocaine, in the kitchen area and found a loaded firearm in the backpack.  Subsequent forensic analysis of the firearm linked it to Bassett.

As a previously convicted felon, Bassett is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.

This case was jointly investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Fort Myers Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Trent Reichling.

This case is being 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.

Updated November 22, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods