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Justice News

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

Friday, July 26, 2013

St. Petersburg Crack Cocaine Dealer Sentenced To 20 Years

Tampa, FL - U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore yesterday sentenced Michael M. Rucker (34, St. Petersburg) to twenty years in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school and being a convicted felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. The court also ordered Rucker to forfeit firearms and ammunition involved in the commission of the offenses. Rucker was found guilty by a jury on February 14, 2013.

According to court documents, on May 15, 2012, the St. Petersburg Police Department Vice and Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at Rucker's residence located on 9th Avenue South, in St. Petersburg. During the execution of the search warrant, officers located two fully loaded handguns in Rucker's bedroom, distribution amounts of crack cocaine under a couch, marijuana, and tools of the drug trade commonly used to make and sell crack cocaine. The residence was located within 1,000 feet of both a middle school and daycare center.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the St. Petersburg Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Josephine W. Thomas.

It is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy led by ATF. Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III, along with Julie Leon, 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