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Enforcement and Removal
08/19/2009

Florida man pleads guilty to illegal possession of firearms and drug charges

ORLANDO, Fla. - A Cuban national, 62, pleaded guilty today to illegally possessing a firearm and narcotics following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Orange County Sheriff's Office (OCSO) investigation.

According to the plea agreement, on Dec. 25, 2008, OCSO officers located Antonio Avila-Almira, of Orlando after learning that he might be in possession of a firearm and narcotics.

A search of Avila-Almira by OCSO officers revealed that he was carrying a loaded semi-automatic pistol, 82 baggies of cocaine and heroin, and $1,288.  A subsequent check by ICE of Avila-Almira's immigration status determined that he was a convicted felon, illegally in the United States, whose felony record qualified him as an armed career criminal under federal sentencing statutes.

Avila-Almira faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison with a minimum mandatory sentence of 20 years. A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephanie Gorman and Robert Bodnar.