A 33-year-old convicted felon from Gainesville has been sentenced to over 20 years in federal prison for drug-related offenses and possessing a loaded firearm.
On Tuesday, William Harrison Quarterman, III was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.
The sentence was announced by Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Quarterman will serve concurrent sentences of 16 years for possession with intent to distribute eutylone and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, followed by 5 consecutive years for possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
The court also ordered six years of supervised release following Quarterman’s prison term.
“The collaborative efforts of our partners in the Gainesville Gun Violence Initiative continue to produce impactful results, and we will continue working tirelessly to make North Florida safer,” said U.S. Attorney Coody. “This sentence removes a habitual felon from our community and sends a clear message that there are real and severe consequences for federal firearm offenses.”
According to court records, on April 15, 2021, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched in reference to a domestic disturbance after Quarterman’s girlfriend called 911 and then left their shared apartment for fear of her own safety.
Upon arrival at the incident location, deputies made contact with the victim near the apartment. While speaking with her about the incident, the deputies were alerted that Quarterman was leaving the area in a vehicle that he shared with the victim.
After learning that Quarterman had exchanged vehicles with a relative to avoid arrest, deputies located him on foot in the Veteran’s Memorial Park. When Quarterman noticed that a deputy had spotted him, Quarterman fled from deputies on foot and was eventually apprehended by a K-9 deputy after he became entangled in dense vegetation in a wooded area near the park.
“We are more effective when we work together in our efforts to combat gun violence and will continue to make public safety a number one priority for our community,” stated Alachua County Sheriff Clovis Watson, Jr.
“We’re always excited to collaborate with partners like the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office,” said ATF Tampa Division Special Agent in Charge Craig W. Saier. “No one law enforcement agency can combat violent crimes alone, which is why the Gainesville Gun Violence Initiative is so important.”
When deputies took Quarterman into custody, he was wearing a multicolored backpack. A search of that backpack revealed a loaded .22 caliber revolver, nearly 50 grams of eutylone that was packaged for sale in multiple baggies, marijuana, and parsley that Quarterman had dyed red to attempt to sell as “spice.”
Quarterman made statements to the deputies that the items in the backpack would send him back to prison. Quarterman is a convicted felon, and he was arrested on numerous state charges stemming from this incident.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms adopted the case for federal prosecution and conducted an additional investigation. Quarterman had multiple prior felony convictions, including two convictions for selling cocaine, possessing cocaine, a felony domestic battery conviction, and additional felony convictions related to an armed home invasion robbery that he committed with other co-defendants.
Quarterman had only been out of prison for less than two years after serving a 14-year sentence in the Florida Department of Corrections. As an Armed Career Criminal, Quarterman received an enhanced sentence that includes a 15-year minimum mandatory term of imprisonment.
This case was investigated by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Chris Elsey.