Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell has sentenced Mario Brooks (30, Plant City) to five years and three months in federal prison for possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon. The court also ordered Brooks to forfeit the firearm and ammunition.
Brooks had pleaded guilty on August 12, 2019.
According to court documents, on March 9, 2019, an officer from the Plant City Police Department located Brooks, who had violated the terms of his probation, at a residence in Plant City. When the officer arrived at the home, Brooks fled. The officer gave chase and yelled at Brooks to stop. The officer noticed that Brooks was holding a firearm in his right hand that appeared to be equipped with an extended magazine. Eventually, officers were able to catch Brooks and arrest him. Brooks later admitted that he had possessed a firearm—a semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine—and 35 rounds of ammunition.
Brooks, who had previously been convicted of several felonies, including possession of cocaine, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault involving the discharge of a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm, and robbery involving the possession of a firearm, is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Plant City Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David C. Waterman.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (“PSN”). PSN is 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. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.