FEDS: Broward County Felon Charged With Federal Gun and Identity Theft Crimes; Faces Up To 26 Years In Federal Prison

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Deshawn Lemonte Wheeler
According to federal authorities, Deshawn Lemonte Wheeler, 38 of Lauderhill, was charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition, one count of possessing 15 or more unauthorized access devices, and three counts of aggravated identity theft.  If convicted on all counts, Wheeler faces up to 26 years in federal prison.

MIAMI, FL – A South Florida grand jury has charged a 38-year-old felon from Lauderhill, Florida with illegally possessing a cache of firearms and ammunition, as well as sensitive identity and financial information belonging to others.

According to the indictment, an earlier-filed criminal complaint affidavit, and government exhibits filed with the court, a narcotics investigation led law enforcement officers to Deshawn Lemonte Wheeler. On March 3, officers executed a search warrant at Wheeler’s home, where they recovered 10 firearms (including pistols, revolvers, and a rifle), multiple high-capacity-drums and other magazines, and a vast amount of multiple caliber ammunition. They also recovered numerous credit and debit card account numbers, bank account numbers, driver’s license identification numbers, and a Department of Defense identification number, all belonging to other people, say the court filings. 

On March 3, Wheeler was a felon, having been previously convicted in federal court of conspiring to commit a Hobbs Act robbery and using a firearm during a crime of violence. The indictment charges Wheeler with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition, one count of possessing 15 or more unauthorized access devices, and three counts of aggravated identity theft.  If convicted on all counts, Wheeler faces up to 26 years in federal prison.

Wheeler is scheduled for arraignment on Monday, April 4, at 11:00 a.m., in federal magistrate court in Ft. Lauderdale.

Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami, announced the charges. FBI Miami investigated the case, with assistance from Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Lauderhill Police Department, and Fort Lauderdale Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph A. Cooley is prosecuting the case.

This case stems from Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  In 2017, PSN was reinvigorated as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

Indictments and criminal complaints contain mere allegations.  A defendant is innocent unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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