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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 12, 2018

Lee County Couple Pleads Guilty To Firearms Charges

Fort Myers, Florida – Herman Fleming (26, Lehigh Acres) and Sondre’jah Wilbon (24, Fort Myers) today pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges arising out of a straw purchasing incident. Both individuals face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. Sentencing dates have not yet been set.

According to court documents, Fleming and Wilbon traveled to a gun show at the Lee County Civic Center on April 2, 2017. Fleming, who was then facing state felony charges, was prohibited from receiving a firearm under federal law. An undercover Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent standing next to the couple at a display booth observed Fleming handling various firearms and heard him tell Wilbon which three guns (an assault-style rifle and two pistols) he wanted to buy. Fleming then provided Wilbon with cash and left the area to avoid raising suspicion. 

In the paperwork required to make the purchase, Wilbon lied and claimed she was the intended recipient of the firearms. The two were arrested while leaving the gun show. Law enforcement found the rifle in the trunk of Fleming’s car and the receipts for the guns in his pocket. The two pistols were subject to a three-day waiting period by law and never left the possession of the firearms dealer.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael V. Leeman.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In October 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to develop districtwide crime reduction strategies, incorporating the lessons learned since the program’s inception in 2001. 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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated March 12, 2018