December 3, 2007 Possession of Firearm Nets Local Man 20 Years in Federal Prison

Orlando, Florida - U.S. District Judge Anne C. Conway today sentenced DONALD RAY HARRIS to 20 years imprisonment for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person (convicted felon). In addition to the prison term, HARRIS must serve three years in a supervised release program upon his release from prison and forfeit the firearm. DONALD RAY HARRIS was found guilty on July 3, 2007.

According to evidence presented at trial, HARRIS was stopped as he drove a truck through a rural neighborhood in Mims. A witness earlier had seen HARRIS shooting a semi-automatic rifle at a residence in the neighborhood; after hearing gunshots, another witness had placed a 911 call to summon authorities. A responding Brevard County Sheriff's Office deputy pursued HARRIS'S vehicle, arrested HARRIS and discovered a loaded AK-47-style rifle on the driver-side floorboard of the truck. As a previously convicted felon, HARRIS is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm or ammunition.

The case represents the culmination of a cooperative effort between the United States Attorney's Office, the State Attorney's Office for Brevard/Seminole Counties, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). This is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice program Project Safe Neighborhoods - a nationwide gun violence reduction initiative with strong support from ATF. United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill is coordinating the cooperative effort here in the Middle District of Florida with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials. In Brevard County, State Attorney Norm Wolfinger is calling the initiative "Operation Cease Fire." The objective is to reduce violent crime by locating and seizing unlawfully possessed guns and then swiftly prosecuting the offenders using both federal and state gun laws.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Craig S. Forrester, of the Brevard County State Attorney's Office, and Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.

Created and maintained by:
Site Developed and Maintained by Nsync Data Systems
"N-Sync Computer Services"