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A Sarasota man has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for possessing explosive materials as a convicted felon, according to the Department of Justice.
Marc Jason Levene, 57, had prior felony drug convictions which prohibited him from possessing or selling any explosive materials.
As it turns out, Levene was doing both.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) began investigating Levene for selling explosives without a federal license or permit in 2016. In January of that year, ATF and Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office seized explosive fuses from a shed behind Levene’s residence.
In 2017, ATF discovered that Levene was again selling explosive fuses using a website called thepyropro.com.
The investigation led agents to Levene’s storage unit at a self-storage facility in Sarasota, where an explosives detection canine confirmed the presence of explosive materials inside.
In February 2018, law enforcement executed search warrants at Levene’s home and storage unit. The searches turned up more than 7,700 pounds of explosive fuses and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
A Tampa court ordered Levene to forfeit nearly four tons of explosive fuses and flash powder.
“This was the largest seizure ever of explosives from a convicted felon in Florida,” said ATF special agent Daryl McCrary in a press release. “This sentencing represents ATF’s expertise in explosive investigations and is another example of how our enforcement of the federal explosives laws greatly enhances our nation’s public safety.”
The case against Levene was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a Department of Justice program that aims to reduce violent crimes. The program coordinates the efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement officials.