Violent Career Criminal designation lands man 30 years for gun possession

CHIPLEY – A man with a six previous convictions for violent crimes in Washington County was sentenced to 30 years in prison Monday for being a felon in possession of a firearm, State Attorney Larry Basford announced.

Stacy Blackmon

Stacy Tyrone Blackmon, 38, of Chipley, was found guilty of being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm Oct. 12 after Washington County Chief Prosecutor Megan Ford presented the evidence against him. Jurors took about 30 minutes to return the verdict.

“Violent career criminals have no business having guns and the laws in Florida make the penalties stiff if they are caught possessing them.  Our office will seek these enhancements to enforce the law and protect the community.”

The charge is a 2nd Degree Felony, normally punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Ford successfully argued that the defendant’s six previous convictions for crimes ranging from Felony Battery and Aggravated Assault, to Resisting Arrest With Violence and Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, qualified him as a Violent Career Criminal.

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Under that Florida Statute, the possible sentence ranged from a minimum/mandatory 30 years and up to 40. The defendant also was designated as a Prison Release Reoffender because this crime was committed only months after his release from prison. Circuit Court Judge Christopher Patterson, who presided over the trial, levied the 30-year minimum/mandatory sentence.

Ford called two witnesses and presented evidence that the defendant was in possession of a firearm when he was arrested by Chipley Police Oct. 1, 2020.

Ford proved police had the defendant under surveillance that day when he met with another man and gave him a bag containing a Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol in exchange for $275.

Basford thanked the Chipley Police Department for its work on making the arrest and putting the case together.

For more information, contact Mike Cazalas at, or call 850-381-7454.