Chat with cops, pat down on the street leads to more than a decade behind bars

Chat with cops, pat down on the street leads to more than a decade behind bars

(As originally published with additional photos, Wed, November 15th 2023, 4:45 PM EST)

FORT MYERS, Fla. (TND) — A Florida man has been sentenced to more than a decade behind bars after he was caught with a gun after a chat with police officers.

Steven Dewayne Barnes, Jr., made two mistakes: He was a previously convicted felon and his gun’s serial number had been obliterated.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office pointed to court records that said on the afternoon of Nov. 14, 2022, “Officers from the Fort Myers Police Department encountered Barnes walking along Washington Avenue in Fort Myers and engaged him in conversation.“

The officers weren’t just talking; they were also looking.

The feds said the cops “made several observations which led them to believe that Barnes was concealing a weapon on his person. As a result, the officers conducted a pat down of Barnes and found a loaded Smith and Wesson handgun concealed under his clothing and tucked into his waistband.“

Chat with cops, pat down on the street leads to more than a decade behind bars
Steven Dewayne Barnes was booked for a probation violation on Oct. 26, 2022 (left) and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon on Nov. 15, 2022. (Lee Co. Sheriff’s Office)

Not only that, “An inspection of the firearm revealed that its serial number had been scratched out.

“As a convicted felon who had previously served prison time, Barnes is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.“

And more specifically, “Forensic ballistics analysis later linked the firearm retrieved from Barnes to two recent drive-by shootings in Fort Myers.“

Barnes was found guilty in a bench trial on July 12.

Now, the 26-year-old has been sentenced to 10 years and a month in federal prison.

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