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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 8, 2022

25-Year Federal Prison Sentence for Man Who Tried to Kill South Florida Police Officers

Miami, Florida — The Miami man who earlier this year discharged a hail of gunfire at two FBI Task Force Officers and a City of Homestead Police Detective as the officers drove past him has been sentenced to 310 months in federal prison. 

Earlier this year, James Robert Mills, Jr., pled guilty to attempting to murder the three officers and forcibly assaulting the officers with a deadly weapon.  Mills also pled guilty to two counts of discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

On January 31, the three officers were on duty, driving an unmarked white sports utility vehicle (SUV) in the Homestead-Miami area.  At about 8:30 p.m., as they drove north on S.W. 116th Avenue, an officer noticed a gun pointed at them from an open backseat window of a parked car.  Mills was pointing the gun, which he then fired at the SUV as it drove by.  The officers’ SUV accelerated, trying to evade the gunshots.  The three officers in the SUV managed to lose the suspects’ vehicle without being wounded or firing their weapons.  Crime scene investigators recovered approximately 24 nine-millimeter (9 mm) bullet casings and one projectile from the scene, says the affidavit.

An investigation into the shooting led law enforcement officers to Mills, whom they arrested following a search of a Miami residence where he was staying.  They recovered a Glock 17, 9 mm pistol with an extended magazine from the attic of the house, where Mills had stashed it after the January 31 shooting.  Mills confessed to shooting the firearm.

Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Robert M. DeWitt, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami, Alexander E. Roller, Jr. Chief, Homestead Police Department, and Alfredo Ramirez, III, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, announced the sentence imposed yesterday by United States District Judge Jose E. Martinez.

The FBI Miami Division, along with the Homestead and Miami-Dade Dade Police Departments, investigated the case. The prosecution was led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dwayne E. Williams.

This case stems from Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  In 2017, PSN was reinvigorated as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.  This prosecution was also brought through the efforts of the Miami-Dade Chiefs of Police Operation Community Shield Initiative.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Public Affairs Unit U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida USAFLS.News@usdoj.gov
Updated September 9, 2022