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Crime & Courts

Three Pinellas men sentenced for firearm sales violations

Published:   |   Updated: December 10, 2013 at 03:51 PM

Three Pinellas County men have been sentenced to several years in federal prison as part of a firearm joint state and federal firearm sales investigation, according to a release from the office of acting U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III.

Joseph E. Thornton, 34, of Largo, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven to 15 years for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He pleaded guilty on June 27. According to court documents, Thornton made several gun and cocaine sales to an undercover officer, including selling cocaine and a .40-caliber Hi-Point pistol and ammunition on Jan. 8. Afterward, investigators learned that the pistol had been reported stolen on Dec. 17, 2012, following a residential burglary.

Anthony Maurice McSwain, 28, was sentenced to five years and 10 months in federal prison on Sept. 23 by U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington for being a felon in possession of a firearm, in connection with a gun sale to an undercover officer on Nov. 16, 2012, the release said. And, Jarvis Antwan Dorsey, 22, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore on Nov. 4 to five years and six months in federal prison for the same offense, in connection with the sale of a gun to an undercover officer on Jan. 15.

These cases were investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Largo and Clearwater police departments. The cases arose from a joint federal and state investigation resulting in 28 arrests on state and federal violations, and the seizure of 13 firearms, as well as quantities of cocaine, marijuana, hydrocodone and other narcotics.