TAMPA, FLORIDA – Gabriel Antonio Thompkins, II (25, Tampa) has pleaded guilty to making a false statement to a federally licensed firearms dealer in connection with the attempted purchase of a firearm, and to possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon. Thompkins faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison for the false statement charge and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for the firearms possession offense.
According to the plea agreement, Thompkins was a member of the Grant Park neighborhood gang in Tampa. In furtherance of the gang’s activities, he sold drugs, illegally possessed firearms and ammunition, fled from law enforcement, and posted videos to social media.
On November 17, 2017, Thompkins fled the scene of a shooting in Tampa, driving away in a vehicle at a high rate of speed. He then crashed the vehicle into a pole and fled on foot as Tampa Police officers pursued him. The officers ultimately found Thompkins hiding under a house. On December 18, 2017, Thompkins pleaded guilty to the felony charge of fleeing to elude (high speed) in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court in Hillsborough County.
On December 8, 2019, Thompkins went to Shoot Straight Tampa, a shooting range/gun store, and attempted to purchase a .45 caliber pistol. Thompkins filled out Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Form 4473 and falsely claimed that he had not been convicted of a felony. Shoot Straight Tampa conducted a background check and denied the purchase because of Thompkins’s convicted felon status.
On January 11, 2020, officers from the Tampa Police Department attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle Thompkins was driving. Thompkins fled, first in the vehicle and then on foot. From a backpack found in the car, the officers recovered approximately 170 grams of marijuana. They also located a Kel-Tec 556 pistol.
On October 6, 2020, law enforcement executed arrest and search warrants at Thompkins’s home in Tampa. Inside his bedroom they found a loaded, stolen .40 caliber handgun. They also recovered a loaded, stolen Mini Draco 7.62×39 mm firearm in a shed. As a previously convicted felon, Thompkins is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Tampa Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher F. Murray.
This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence and enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes. For more information on Project Guardian visit www.justice.gov/projectguardian.