Fort Myers, Florida – U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell has sentenced Eric Maurice Brown, Jr. (32, Fort Myers) to 13 years and 8 months in federal prison for possessing with the intent to distribute 40 or more grams of fentanyl and for possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon. Brown had pleaded guilty on January 27, 2022.
According to court records, on April 27, 2021, officers from the Fort Myers Police Department and emergency medical services personnel responded to a 911 call regarding a single-vehicle accident. The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle involved in the accident, Brown, was observed unresponsive in the driver’s seat suffering from an apparent drug overdose. Two loaded firearms were found on or near Brown by medical personnel treating him, including a Smith and Wesson .45-caliber handgun recovered from under Brown’s thigh and a Glock .380-caliber handgun located in his front left pants pocket.
Inside the vehicle officers located and seized multiple baggies containing suspected controlled substances, a box containing several rounds of ammunition, a loaded .45-caliber Smith and Wesson magazine, a digital scale, and a box of clear plastic baggies. Laboratory analysis later confirmed that the substances found in the vehicle included more than 50 grams of fentanyl, more than 32 grams of cocaine, and approximately 13 grams of cocaine base.
Brown was previously convicted in Florida state courts of multiple felony offenses, including robbery with a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, and robbery, and is therefore prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law. As a result of his prior convictions, he was sentenced as a career offender.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
This case was investigated by the Fort Myers Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Simon R. Eth.