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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 25, 2019

Ocala Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty To Federal Firearm And Ammunition Charge

Ocala, Florida – David Walter Hendershot (41, Ocala) today pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with possession of a firearm and ammunition affecting commerce by a previously convicted felon. Hendershot faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has been set for October 25, 2019.

According to the facts described in open court, on March 30, 2019, a City of Ocala police officer discovered Hendershot asleep behind the wheel of a running automobile. Hendershot told the officer that he had been using illegal drugs and that there likely was a firearm in the automobile. A subsequent search revealed a baggie of fentanyl on Hendershot’s person and a loaded handgun in the center vehicle console. 

Hendershot confessed that he had a prior robbery conviction in New York.  He also admitted that he illegally carried the firearm because he was not going to be “caught without a gun, need it, and not have it.” As a convicted felon, however, Hendershot is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition under federal law. 

This case was jointly investigated by the Ocala Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.

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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
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Updated July 25, 2019