Jacksonville, Florida – Bruce Lanier Jefferson (46, Jacksonville) has pleaded guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Because of Jefferson’s criminal history, he faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years, and up to life, in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the plea agreement, on April 14, 2020, Jefferson was driving a Chevrolet Cobalt at high rate of speed in the Brentwood neighborhood of Jacksonville. A patrol officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) observed Jefferson’s erratic driving and attempted to pull him over. Jefferson positioned the car diagonally, as if he were going to drive on the sidewalk, exited the vehicle, and fled on foot. While fleeing, Jefferson threw a Taurus 9mm caliber pistol onto the sidewalk, then fell down. Jefferson attempted to regain his footing, at which point the JSO officer tased Jefferson and detained him. Other JSO patrol officers arrived on scene shortly thereafter, one of whom recovered Jefferson’s firearm from the sidewalk. The firearm had been equipped with an extended magazine and was loaded with 27 rounds of ammunition. Jefferson admitted to officers that he knew that he was a felon and that the Taurus 9mm caliber pistol belonged to him. The firearm had been reported stolen in 2019.
A subsequent search of Jefferson revealed that he was in possession of drugs, including suspected fentanyl. Before possessing the pistol, Jefferson had been convicted of ten felonies, including drug distribution offenses on three separate occasions. Therefore, he 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 Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Laura Cofer Taylor.
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.