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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 22, 2022

Tampa Man Who Displayed Firearm On Social Media Pleads Guilty To Possessing A Firearm As A Convicted Felon

Tampa, Florida –United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Devin Kelly (27, Tampa) has pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Kelly faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to court documents, on July 2, 2021, Kelly and co-defendant Keyshawn Watts handled and displayed an AR-15 style rifle during an Instagram live video. One week later, investigators searched Kelly’s residence and seized a Ruger AR 556 rifle and an extended magazine loaded with 40 rounds of ammunition. Kelly admitted that the rifle seized from his residence was the rifle he had displayed in the Instagram video. Kelly, who had previously been convicted of several felony offenses, is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

Keyshawn Watts (21, Tampa) has been charged with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. His case is currently pending trial.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Tampa Police Department, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and the Florida Department of Corrections. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Sinacore.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, 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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated April 22, 2022