Ocala, Florida – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Wendell Doyle Goney (51, Mount Dora) with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon and destruction of aircraft. If convicted of both counts, Goney faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison. The indictment also notifies Goney that the United States intends to forfeit a rifle and ammunition allegedly used in the commission of the offenses.
According to court documents, on July 11, 2021, deputies from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to a burglary at a 10-acre business property in Mount Dora. Deputies deployed a law enforcement drone to assist with the outdoor search, only to have the drone destroyed by gunfire from a neighboring property. When deputies responded to that location, they confronted Goney, who acknowledged that he had just shot down the drone with a .22 caliber rifle. He claimed that drones had been “harassing” him. Goney also admitted to the deputies that he could not lawfully possess a firearm—he has 29 prior felony convictions in Florida. As a convicted felon, Goney is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition under federal law.
An indictment is merely an allegation and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Department of Transportation-Office of Inspector General, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.