Tampa, Florida – United States District Judge Steven D. Merryday has sentenced Leon Williams (30, Tampa) to 17 years and 6 months in prison and Reginald Jones, Jr. (25, Tampa) to 15 years and 8 months in prison for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana, and for discharging a firearm during and in relation to that conspiracy. A federal jury had found Williams and Jones guilty on November 15, 2019.
According to evidence presented during the two-week trial, Williams and Jones are members of the Bird Gang, a violent street-level drug trafficking organization that has operated in Tampa Park for years, and is responsible for multiple homicides and shootings. The Bird Gang principally sold drugs at two locations, the Tampa Park housing complex and a nearby boarding house known as the “Blue House,” which the Bird Gang had essentially taken over. On May 29, 2018, in the middle of the afternoon, Williams and Jones acted as enforcers for the gang by shooting at people whom they believed had been communicating with law enforcement in an effort to stop the gang from selling drugs at the Blue House. Bullets fired by Williams, Jones, and their associates seriously injured one person, struck a car, and broke windows at a company located two blocks away, where almost 400 people were present at the time of the shooting.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Tampa Police Department, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is part of an ongoing effort to dismantle the Bird Gang, so far resulting in charges against 30 defendants. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael M. Gordon.
This case is the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation and was prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.