Winyontis Quavari Gordon was prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Neighborhoods Program.

An Ocala man who in May pleaded guilty to a gun charge in federal court has been sentenced to a 16-year prison term.

U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore sentenced Winyontis Quavari Gordon on Aug. 28. In mid-May, Gordon entered a guilty plea in front of Judge Philip R. Lammens on a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. While waiting on his sentence, Gordon was being held at the Marion County Jail.

According to a criminal complaint, on July 5, Ocala police officials searched for Gordon because he had a warrant for false imprisonment, felony battery and domestic violence against a woman.

They found him along Northwest 12th Avenue inside a vehicle. Gordon got out of the vehicle and ran, but he surrendered to detectives after a short pursuit, authorities said.

The detectives said they found a .45-caliber handgun with two rounds in it inside the vehicle. They also found marijuana on top of the center console, the complaint states.

Gordon, 29, admitted he was in possession of the firearm and an assault rifle in the vehicle's truck.

Law enforcement officials said Gordon has convictions of aggravated battery with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, domestic battery by strangulation and felony battery.

Because of his convictions, Gordon may not legally have a firearm. That record also qualified him for an enhanced sentence as an armed career criminal.

Gordon's case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert E. Bodnar Jr., is part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Neighborhoods Program. The initiative is a nationwide crime reduction project aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities.

For the Middle District of Florida, which includes Marion County, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates the PSNP with the cooperation with federal, state and local law enforcement officials.

In Gordon's case, Ocala police officials and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation.

Contact Austin L. Miller at 867-4118, austin.miller@starbanner.com or @almillerosb