Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington today sentenced Cleate Wilson (40, Tampa) to six years and six months in federal prison for forcibly resisting, opposing, impeding, and interfering with two Deputy United States Marshals (DUSMs) and possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon. Today’s sentence will run consecutive to an 18-month sentence that Wilson is currently serving for violating the terms of his supervised release on a prior federal conviction. The court also ordered Wilson to forfeit an H&K 9mm firearm and 14 rounds of 9mm ammunition. Wilson had pleaded guilty on October 4, 2022.
According to court documents, on May 5, 2022, four DUSMs went to the vicinity of East Bank Drive in Tampa to arrest Wilson, a convicted felon, on an active federal arrest warrant for violating his supervised release. The DUSMs identified themselves and Wilson attempted to flee, and a struggle ensued. Wilson resisted efforts to arrest him for approximately four minutes. Specifically, Wilson used force in his arms, legs, and torso, pushing against the DUSMS, in an attempt to escape. The deputies repeated commands during the struggle, including, “Stop resisting,” “Calm down,” and “Give me your hands,” all of which Wilson ignored. Wilson eventually stopped resisting and the DUSMs handcuffed him. Inside Wilson’s waistband, the DUSMs found an H&K 9mm handgun loaded with 14 rounds of ammunition. As a previously convicted felon, Wilson is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.
This case was investigated by the United States Marshals Service, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Tampa Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher F. Murray.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.