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United States of America v. Oniel Christopher Russell, a/k/a "O.G. Russell"
Middle District of Florida Federal Courthouse - Orlando, Florida
Case Number: 6:17-cr-00124-CEM-DCI
Judge: Carlos E. Mendoza
Court: United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Orange County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: Nicole M. Andrejko and Christina Romero Downes
Defendant's Attorney: William Bryan Park, II
Description: Orland, FL - Illegal Alien Sentenced To Five Years For Possession Of Loaded Firearms And Felony Assault On A Federal Officer
U.S. District Court Judge Carlos E. Mendoza sentenced Oniel Christopher Russell, a/k/a “O G Russell” (40, Jamaican national), to five years in federal prison for possessing two loaded firearms while being in the United States illegally, and for committing a felony assault on a federal law enforcement officer, causing bodily injury. A federal jury found Russell guilty on December 28, 2017, after a two-day trial.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Russell last entered the United States on October 29, 2008, as a non-immigrant visitor for pleasure with subsequent authorization to remain within the United States only until January 3, 2009. However, Russell failed to depart the United States, and he remained without any lawful immigration status thereafter. On August 24, 2013, Orange County Sheriff’s deputies pulled Russell over for a traffic violation. They subsequently conducted a lawful search of his vehicle, where they discovered two loaded firearms, one in the glove compartment box, and another under the passenger seat. Russell confessed to possessing the firearm in the glove compartment, but denied knowledge of the other. He was charged by the State Attorney’s Office for carrying a concealed firearm.
In October of 2016, deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were alerted to Russell’s presence in the United States when he placed a call to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and made several threatening verbal statements. After verifying that he was in the United States illegally, on April 25, 2017, they located Russell and attempted to execute an administrative warrant for his arrest, during which he resisted and a federal officer suffered injuries to his shoulder and ankle.
At sentencing, the Court imposed an upward variance of 30 months, citing Russell’s apparent hatred for the United States, and law enforcement, his actions when arrested, and his lack of remorse or acceptance of responsibility. The Court also specifically noted that it also had taken into consideration the exhibits submitted into evidence by the United States, which included still shots and a transcription of the lyrics from Russell’s YouTube video on October 23, 2015, titled “Cop Killer.” In the still shots from the video, Russell could be seen brandishing a firearm, and mimicking one with his hand, while singing explicit lyrics.
“Russell’s sentence sends a clear message that assaulting a federal officer will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. His actions on April 25th showed no respect or regard for our officers and his sentence was fitting of his crime,” said Marc Moore, field office director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
This case was primarily investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Federal Protective Service. It was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Christina R. Downes, who is on assignment from ICE’s Office of the Principal Legal Advisor in the Middle District of Florida.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to five years in prison.