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Press Release

Multi-Convicted Felon Sentenced To Four Years In Federal Prison After Shooting Down Law Enforcement Drone

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

Ocala, Florida – Senior United States United States District Judge Gregory A. Presnell has sentenced Wendell Doyle Goney (52, Mount Dora) to four years in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Goney entered a guilty plea on October 5, 2023.

According to the plea agreement, 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. The deputies used 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 admitted that he had just shot down the drone with a .22 caliber rifle. Goney claimed the drone had been “harassing” him. Goney then admitted to the deputies that he could not lawfully possess a firearm because he was a convicted felon. A record check confirmed multiple prior state felony convictions, which included aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence, illegal drug possession, burglary, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. As a convicted felon, Goney is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition under federal law. 

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Department of Transportation – Office of Inspector General, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Updated February 22, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses