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Drug dealer sentenced on gun charges says he planned to shoot detectives

Jacksonville man caught with a dozen guns sentenced to 17 years

Booking photo of Michael Holmes
Booking photo of Michael Holmes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville man convicted on gun and drug charges after police found a dozen guns inside a home where he was selling crack has been sentenced to 17 years and six months in prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Michael Holmes, who waived his right to a jury trial, was found guilty in November 2015 by Judge Timothy J. Corrigan of possessing multiple firearms as a convicted felon and possessing with the intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine.

According to court documents, on Dec. 29, 2013, detectives from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office questioned Holmes on the front porch of his home about complaints related to drug sales occurring at the property.

When asked to retrieve his identification, Holmes left the detectives on his front porch and attempted to obtain a firearm from his gun safe inside the home. Unable to get the safe open, Holmes returned to the front porch. He later told the detectives that if he had been able to get the safe open, he believed that he would have been able to “take . . . out” at least two detectives before making his escape.

After detecting the smell of marijuana wafting from the front door and Holmes admitting to smoking marijuana, the detectives obtained a warrant to search the home.

The detectives recovered the gun safe, 12 firearms, more than 1,100 rounds of ammunition, 20 grams of crack cocaine, 29 grams of powder cocaine, more than 49 grams of marijuana, three digital scales, a bulletproof vest and approximately $3,600 in cash. Before the incident, Holmes had three prior drug felony convictions and was therefore prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

When asked how he came to possess the cache of firearms, Holmes explained, “I sell dope. People come. I buy.” 

The case was investigated by the JSO and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.