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Press Release

Tampa Felon Convicted Of Firearm Possession

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

Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury yesterday found Antouin L. Barker (43) guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Barker faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment, up to a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.  His sentencing hearing is scheduled on May 15, 2014.  Barker was indicted on May 1, 2013. 

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on February 12, 2013, after sunset, Barker was riding his bicycle against traffic and without lighting equipment on 127th Avenue East, in Tampa. When stopped by members of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for the traffic infractions, Barker repeatedly put his hands in his pockets, despite repeated warnings not to do so. Barker verbally consented to a search, but ultimately put his hands back in his pockets and turned away from the deputies. Fearing for their safety, deputies removed Barker’s hands from his pockets, and patted him down.  During the search, a small .22 caliber revolver was found in Barker’s right front shorts’ pocket. The gun was loaded with one live round, and four spent bullets.

At the time of the incident, Barker was a previously convicted felon.  His prior felonies include drug charges, aggravated battery, grand theft, and burglary.  As a previously convicted felon, Barker is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.> This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark E. Bini.

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 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. 

It is also a part of ATF’s Frontline strategy to reduce violent crime and improving the quality of life in communities where law enforcement efforts are focused.

Updated January 26, 2015