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Press Release

Armed Career Criminal Gets 15 Years In Prison After Brandishing Firearm At FBI Agent

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

Memphis, TN – Eugene Bernardini, 38, of Olive Branch, MS was sentenced Friday evening by U.S. District Judge Samuel H. Mays to 15 years in federal prison for being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition, announced U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III.

According to facts revealed during the sentencing hearing, on November 23, 2012, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent was riding in a car with a friend and the friend’s 12-year-old son on Hacks Cross Road in Memphis, when their vehicle was struck by Bernardini’s vehicle. The FBI agent recommended to his friend that he pull into a parking lot. The driver and the Special Agent exited the vehicle, at which time Bernardini pulled a pistol and pointed it at the agent’s midsection. The FBI agent immediately took possession of the pistol and ordered Bernardini to the ground. Bernardini refused to comply and advanced toward the agent, saying “you won’t shoot.” The gun failed to fire, and the agent ejected the magazine from the weapon.

Bernardini then pulled a knife and advanced on the agent, who discarded the pistol to have his hands free to defend himself. While holding the agent at knife-point, Bernardini grabbed the pistol from the ground, pointed it at the driver of the vehicle who had come to the agent’s aid and then fled the scene. The police were called to the scene by an employee of a nearby business who witnessed the incident. Though the pistol was never recovered, the ejected magazine and ammunition left on the scene were tagged by Memphis Police Department officers, and Bernardini was arrested later that evening in Olive Branch, Mississippi.

Based on his prior convictions for aggravated robbery, robbery and possession of controlled substances with the intent to distribute, Bernardini was sentenced to the 15-year sentence required by the Armed Career Criminal Act. There is no possibility of parole.

This case was investigated by the Project Safe Neighborhoods Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Webber represented the government.

Updated March 19, 2015