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Press Release

Jacksonville Man Sentenced To Prison After Selling Fake Heroin While Armed And Holding An Infant

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

Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis has sentenced Kirkland George Lawrence (34, Jacksonville), a/k/a “Killa,” to eight years and nine months in federal prison for attempted distribution of heroin, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and distribution of cocaine. The court also ordered Lawrence to forfeit the Smith & Wesson pistol that he had used in one of the offenses. 

Lawrence had pleaded guilty on June 28, 2019.

According to court documents, in April 2018, Lawrence agreed to sell drugs to a confidential informant (CI) working at the direction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The CI traveled to Lawrence’s apartment in the Arlington area of Jacksonville, where Lawrence sold a powder to the CI that Lawrence had represented to be heroin. It was later determined that the substance did not contain heroin. At the time of the sale, Lawrence was seated at a kitchen table, within reach of a pistol, and holding an infant.

The following day, the CI returned to Lawrence’s apartment after Lawrence agreed to sell a firearm. Inside the apartment, Lawrence brandished a pistol while additional firearms were visible on a sofa and on the floor. Lawrence also retrieved an Uzi pistol from a kitchen cabinet and displayed it to the CI. Lawrence then retrieved a Smith and Wesson pistol from outside of the apartment and sold it to the CI. Approximately two weeks later, following the execution of a search warrant at his apartment, Lawrence was arrested by officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. At the time, Lawrence was in possession of another Smith & Wesson pistol.

In October 2018, while on bond for his previous arrest, Lawrence sold cocaine to the CI on three occasions. Lawrence was arrested again and admitted to the officers that he believed that the purported heroin that he had sold in April 2018 was genuine. During these incidents, Lawrence had a prior felony conviction for attempted armed robbery and is therefore prohibited from possessing any firearms or ammunition under federal law.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Laura Cofer Taylor.

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.

Updated October 3, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods