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Press Release

Tampa Gang Member Sentenced To 15 Years’ Imprisonment, The Maximum Sentence Allowed By Law, For Orchestrating Shootings And Threatening To Commit Violence On A Child And Grandmother

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

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington has sentenced Antonio McCray (22, Tampa) to 15 years in federal prison—the maximum sentence allowed by law—for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. McCray pleaded guilty on November 14, 2023.

According to court documents and evidence presented at sentencing, McCray was a member of the “2x” gang in Hernando County. In September and October 2022, McCray planned to carry out a murder against a rival gang member, telling his rival gang members, “I’m tryna do these f*** [dudes] so dirty…we getting them tonight…I’m [going] to shoot his a**.” On at least two occasions, McCray and his fellow gang members went to a residence in Hernando County, ultimately surrounding the house and shooting the windows, front door, and back sliding door. Two minor children were present at the time of the shooting, and bullets came through the window of a 9-year-old girl’s room.

On October 29, 2022, detectives from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle. McCray was seated in the back seat of the car, and in possession of a Hellcat Pistol. McCray’s DNA was found on the firearm, and FDLE revealed a correlation between the Springfield firearm and shell casings recovered from one of the shootings. At the time, McCray had multiple prior felony convictions including burglary of a conveyance while armed, burglary (6 counts), and dealing in stolen property. As a convicted felon he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

McCray’s phone later revealed additional text messages in which he was threatening individuals who owed him a drug debt, telling people; “Listen bra if u care about ur son an ur grandma have my money by Thursday…or I’m coming for u and ur family…I’ll be at ur house tonight…Im torture ur grandma, u don’t know who u playing with.”

This case was investigated by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with assistance from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diego F. Novaes.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Updated June 20, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses