Ocala, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the arrest of Nicholas Allen Groves (35, Ocala) on a criminal complaint charging him with possession of a firearm affecting commerce by a convicted felon. If convicted, Groves faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.
According to the criminal complaint, Groves has a 2012 felony conviction in Maryland for assault-first Degree. That incident involved Groves threatening another person with a firearm. Because of this felony conviction, Groves is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.
On November 6, 2019, federal agents executed a search warrant on an Ocala residence where Groves lived alone. Inside the residence, agents recovered at least 25 firearms (including AR-15 and AK-47 rifles), hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and personal identification documents belonging to Groves. Among the recovered ammunition, agents located three military-style 40mm smoke and parachute rounds.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and the City of Ocala Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.
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.
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