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Ocala
Saturday, July 13, 2024

Four-time felon from Ocala arrested on firearm charges

A 31-year-old convicted felon from Ocala has been arrested a month after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on firearm-related charges.

On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg of the Middle District of Florida announced the arrest of Lewis Tinson, Jr. on an indictment charging him with two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to the indictment, Tinson is a four-time convicted felon, and each of his prior felony convictions involves firearms. In 2012, he was convicted of carjacking with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a delinquent. Six years later, he was convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and shooting at, within, or into a vehicle.

The indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury on May 22, 2024, stems from two separate incidents that occurred within a two-week span in 2021.

On August 27, 2021, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence on SE 186th Terrace in Ocala in reference to a possible domestic altercation. When a deputy arrived at the home, Tinson briefly stepped outside the front door before re-entering the home and shutting the door, according to the MCSO arrest report.

A woman soon opened the door and told the deputy that Tinson had three firearms inside the home. The report stated that the deputy was led into a back bedroom where three loaded firearms were found.

After being read his Miranda rights, Tinson stated that he “got the firearms from his cousin.” He also stated that some people are “out to hurt him” and he “needed the firearms to protect himself,” according to the report.

Tinson was placed under arrest and transported to Marion County Jail.

A little over a week later, on September 6, 2021, an Ocala Police Department officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle due to the registered owner having a suspended license. The officer noted in the arrest report that the female driver was the vehicle’s owner, and a man identified as Tinson was seated in the front passenger seat, according to the OPD arrest report.

When the officer asked Tinson if he could drive the vehicle, he informed the officer that he did not have a driver’s license. Two additional officers soon arrived at the scene of the traffic stop and ordered the vehicle’s occupants to step outside.

As Tinson stepped out of the vehicle, the report stated that he told the officers, “I already know I’m going to jail.” Inside the vehicle, the officers found a semi-automatic handgun and ammunition underneath the front passenger seat, according to the report.

During a post-Miranda interview, Tinson admitted to being a convicted felon, though an officer noted that Tinson refused to answer any direction questions about the firearm found under his seat. He was arrested and taken to Marion County Jail.

An indictment is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a federal criminal offense. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

If convicted, Tinson faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison on each count.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ocala Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hannah Nowalk.