Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard has sentenced Jimmy Ray Lightsey (40, Jacksonville) to 20 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possessing controlled substances with the intent to distribute them, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. A jury found Lightsey guilty on January 23, 2020.
According to testimony presented at trial, on June 24, 2018, officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arrested Lightsey for driving without a valid license. A 9mm pistol and a bag of marijuana were observed, in plain view, inside Lightsey’s car. A search of the vehicle revealed additional marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, and empty baggies used for packaging narcotics. The pistol was later determined to have been stolen from a home in Jacksonville approximately two weeks earlier. At the time of the incident, Lightsey had multiple prior felony convictions, including for the sale or delivery of cocaine and attempted armed robbery with a weapon.
This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David B. Mesrobian and Beatriz Gonzalez.
This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.