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Justice News

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

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pinellas Resident Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison For Narcotics Possession

Tampa, FL - U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara today sentenced Jhi Michael Reynolds (27, St. Petersburg) to 15 years in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute in excess of 28 grams of cocaine base. Reynolds pleaded guilty on November 8, 2012.

According to testimony and evidence presented in court, on August 27, 2011, St. Petersburg Police officers stopped Reynolds for driving a vehicle with an unlawful window tint. As officers approached the car, Reynolds accelerated away from the officers and led them on a high speed car chase. Officers eventually lost sight of Reynolds' car. A short time later, officers located Reynolds’ car parked near a residence in St. Petersburg. Officers arrested Reynolds at the residence. They searched the car and found 43.8 grams of crack cocaine. They also recovered a Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol, loaded with 21 rounds of ammunition, near the arrest site. Reynolds later admitted that the gun and the narcotics belonged to him. Prior to his August 2011 arrest, Reynolds had previously been convicted of a number of felony offenses. As such, he was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, with assistance from the St. Petersburg Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sara Sweeney and Jay Hoffer.

This is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy. United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill, along with Julie Torres, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, is coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

Updated January 26, 2015