TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Keith A. Penn, 41, of Tallahassee, Florida, has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to drug trafficking and firearm charges. Jason R. Coody, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the sentence.
“This case is another example of the success that can be achieved through collaboration between our local and federal law enforcement agencies,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Coody. “As a result of the excellent relationship between the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, this armed drug trafficker has been held accountable for his criminal conduct, and the community is safer as a result.”
In July 2020, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office made two controlled purchases of cocaine from Penn, leading to a search warrant for his apartment. During the execution of the warrant on August 11, 2020, LCSO recovered six firearms, over fifty grams of cocaine, drug paraphernalia associated with the sale of narcotics such as scales and baggies, and approximately $5925 in cash. Penn was arrested on state charges and was placed on pretrial release. LCSO conducted another controlled purchase of cocaine from Penn on October 13, 2020 and obtained a second search warrant for his apartment. During the execution of the second warrant on October 30, 2020, LCSO found various calibers of firearm ammunition, a small amount of cocaine, and drug paraphernalia (scales and baggies). LCSO also found approximately six grams of cocaine individually packaged into 25 baggies in Penn’s car, and over $900 in his pants pocket.
Penn pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense, and two counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Penn qualified for enhanced penalties as an Armed Career Criminal because of prior convictions for armed robbery with a deadly weapon and two counts of sale of cocaine. The Court also ordered 6 years of supervised release following Penn’s prison term.
“ATF takes possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon serious,” said Special Agent in Charge Craig W. Saier, “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to combat these crimes that endanger our communities.”
This sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney James A. McCain prosecuted the case.
This case falls within the purview of the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, which brings together federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and community leaders to combat violent crime in the community. Here in Tallahassee, the Sheriff’s ALLinLEON initiative has focused on enforcement, but also engaged community volunteers to regularly take at-risk youth to places of worship, activated Neighborhood Crime Watch programs, and conducted other activities to target neighborhoods that are perennial hotspots for violence. The effort also aims to help connect individuals who are reentering the community from incarceration with education, job skills and substance abuse treatment.
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.