ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — A Pensacola sex offender has been sentenced to 11 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
James Leroy Smith Jr., 38, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of an unregistered short-barreled rifle and multiple violations of his federal supervised release conditions. He was sentenced to an additional 14 months for his supervision violations to run consecutively to his firearm case.
“Senseless violence by armed felons endangers the public and results in serious consequences,” said United States Attorney Jason R. Coody. “Our partners at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office are to be commended for their swift actions in apprehending this violent felon. Due to their efforts, our community is safer, and this repeat offender is exactly where he belongs – back behind bars.”
Smith was arrested by Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputies on April 24, 2021, after shooting a black AR-style rifle loaded with rounds in a 100-round double-drum magazine at another car while driving through a Pensacola area. At the time, Smith was being supervised by the U.S. Probation Office following a prison sentence imposed for failure to register as a sexual offender. In addition to the federal offense, Smith had nine other felony convictions, including a prior conviction for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and a conviction for sexual battery.
The sentence resulted from a joint investigation by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.