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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 30, 2020

Ocala Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty To Federal Firearm Offense

Ocala, Florida – Kwasi Francis (29, Ocala) today pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Francis had been indicted on July 10, 2019.

According to court documents, on May 7, 2019, local law enforcement arrested Francis on unrelated criminal charges. While he was being processed at the Marion County Jail, booking staff discovered that Francis had concealed a loaded 9mm firearm between the multiple pairs of pants that he was wearing. Francis, who has prior felony convictions for burglary and heroin distribution, is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.  

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

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime. 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): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated January 30, 2020