GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – Two Alachua County men, each with multiple prior felony convictions, were sentenced on December 6, 2022, to federal prison terms ranging from 18 to 19.5 years followed by supervised release for possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. The sentences were announced by Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
“The collaborative efforts of our partners in the Gainesville Gun Violence Initiative continue to produce impactful results, and we will continue working tirelessly to make North Florida safer,” said U.S. Attorney Coody. “These sentences ensures that our community will be safer and sends a message that there are real and severe consequences for federal firearm offenses.”
“The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office will continue to work tirelessly in cooperation with our fellow law enforcement agencies to eradicate gun violence in our community,” said Alachua County Sheriff Clovis Watson, Jr.
Keith Dawayne Puryear, 42, of Gainesville, was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release. Puryear was observed by a Gainesville Police Department (GPD) officer running a stop sign just before 3:30 a.m. on the morning of April 13, 2022. When the officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop, Puryear pulled onto a residential street and then quickly exited the driver’s seat and fled on foot through residential yards in the neighborhood. The GPD officer observed that Puryear was carrying a pistol in his hand as he fled. A K9 officer responded to the scene and conducted a track, ultimately locating Puryear hiding inside a doghouse in another residential backyard, where he was apprehended. Puryear is a multi-time convicted felon and had outstanding felony arrest warrants out of Marion County. Officers located a Crown Royal bag near one of Puryear’s shoes along his path of flight which was found to contain crack cocaine. The firearm was not located that night, but an officer went back to the scene after sunrise and located a loaded 10-millimeter pistol that had been discarded by Puryear during the chase. This pistol had been reported stolen out of Lake County, Florida. DNA consistent with Puryear was recovered from the firearm. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms conducted a follow-up investigation. Puryear had prior felony convictions including Sale of Cocaine (x4), Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Sell (x4), Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon (x3), Sale of Cannabis, Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Sell (x4), Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Eluding Law Enforcement (x3), Possession of Cocaine (x5), Possession of Alprazolam, Grand Theft Auto, and Felony Driving While License is Suspended (x4).
Alphonso Columbus Richardson, 43, of Gainesville, was sentenced to more than 19.5 years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release. Richardson matched the physical description of a wanted subject that was driving a relative’s vehicle without authorization. An Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) deputy located the vehicle at a gas station in Gainesville on the night of January 5, 2022. The deputy observed Richardson get into the driver’s seat and another man get into the front passenger seat. When Richardson started to drive through the parking lot, the deputy conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. Richardson initially attempted to flee the scene but was boxed in by other deputies responding to assist. Richardson then attempted to flee on foot but got tangled in the seat belt and then made furtive movements back into the area of the driver’s seat. Deputies detained him and eventually observed a revolver wedged between the driver’s seat and the center console. Deputies confirmed he was a convicted felon and arrested him. During a search of his person, deputies located an additional ten (10) rounds of ammunition and during a later search of Richardson’s person, they located multiple baggies of suspected methamphetamine, cocaine, MDPV, and marijuana. DNA consistent with Richardson was recovered from the firearm. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms conducted a follow-up investigation. Richardson had prior felony convictions including Sale of Cocaine (x3), Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Sell (x3), Sale of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Sell, Possession of Ammunition by Convicted Felon (x2), Felony Battery – Repeat Offender, Burglary of a Dwelling, Resisting an Officer with Violence, Sale of Substance in Lieu of Controlled Substance, Grand Theft Auto (x2), Possession of Cocaine (x2), Possession of MDMA, and Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription.
Assistant United States Attorney Chris Elsey prosecuted the cases, which were investigated by the Gainesville Police Department, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, all member agencies of the Gainesville Gun Violence Initiative.
These federal convictions result from the joint efforts of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that form the Gainesville Gun Violence Initiative (GVI). The Gainesville GVI was established in April 2019, by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida in an effort to stem the escalating gun violence in Gainesville and the surrounding area. As GVI partners, the State Attorney’s Office for the Eight Judicial Circuit, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Gainesville Police Department, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, the Alachua Police Department, the University of Florida Police Department, and the Florida Department of Corrections share this commitment to protecting public safety.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.