Tampa Convicted Felon On Probation Sentenced To Federal Prison For Possessing A Loaded Firearm

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell has sentenced Reginald Wester, Jr. (23, Tampa) to 15 months in federal prison possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Westser was also ordered to forfeit the firearm and serve 3 years of supervised release. Wester had pleaded guilty on April 26, 2022.

According to facts presented in court, Wester, a convicted felon, was on state probation for shooting and carrying a concealed weapon. On February 5, 2021, Wester reported to his state probation officer in Tampa for a court ordered drug test. However, instead of providing a valid sample for analysis, Wester provided a false urine sample to his probation officer and was subsequently arrested. An officer with the Tampa Police Department was called to the probation office to transport Wester.  The officer seized a loaded 9mm pistol from Wester’s car. As a convicted felon, Wester is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

Wester admitted knowing the loaded pistol was in his car, but claimed it wasn’t his. However, investigators recovered Wester’s DNA from the grip, trigger, front sight, muzzle, and rear site of the pistol.   

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Tampa Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Craig Gestring.

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, 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.

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