Felon in possession of ammunition leads to a BS indictment? Perhaps not in this case.

Felon in possession of ammunition leads to a BS indictment? Perhaps not in this case.
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File

A recent indictment for being a felon in possession of ammunition leaves more questions than answers. According to the ATF, 35-year-old Dartis Cobb was charged with one count of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. The lack of information given by the report caused the collection of more information, and what was found leaves some serious head scratching about the system, the process, and what actually happens during police work.

United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging Dartis Cobb (35, St. Petersburg) with one count of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. If convicted, Cobb faces up to 10 years in federal prison.

According to the indictment, on August 13, 2022, Cobb knowingly possessed 9mm Luger ammunition. Cobb has previously been convicted of two felonies – robbery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon – therefore he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

While trying to find some information on the August 13th event, one report found tells a story that’s straight outta one of those cop shows. The NBC News Channel 8 WFLA piece discussed an event that occurred on the 13th of August.

A St. Petersburg man was arrested after allegedly fleeing from Pinellas County deputies with a baby in the car.

According to an arrest report from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, deputies attempted to pull over Dartis Cobb, 35, for a broken headlight just after 1:30 a.m. on Saturday. Deputies said Cobb turned off all lights on his vehicle and sped away.

Deputies said Cobb was “driving at excessively high rates of speed though a highly populated residential area”. He was arrested after driving onto a dead-end street and being forced to stop.

The arrest report stated a one year old child was in the car at the time of the incident. Deputies reportedly found a handgun and ammunition in a bag on the driver’s seat, as well as a single bullet in Cobb’s pocket. His wallet and Florida I.D. were reportedly found in the bag with the gun, which deputies said he is not allowed to own, since he is a felon.

Cobb was taken to the Pinellas County Jail and charged with fleeing police at high speed, child abuse, carrying a concealed firearm and felon in possession of a firearm.

The best the ATF could do was secure a single count of a felon in possession of ammunition out of all that? Seeing there was no report of an indictment on the possession of a firearm, are we to believe that the contents of the bag did not get pegged to Cobb? The handgun and ammunition? Clearly the possession of the firearm should have been considered if the ammunition in the bag was, no? Just looking at this, we almost have to believe that the offense that Cobb committed, the possession of ammunition while being a disqualified person, is due to the solitary round of ammunition that was in his pocket.

The conjecture here certainly makes me wonder about the rest of the rodeo that Cobb was involved in. Or would the ATF not be seeking an indictment over the gun in the bag?

What’s more troubling is that looking at Cobb’s criminal history we’re greeted with a pretty healthy serving of alleged bad behavior. Cobb’s first brush with the law that’s recorded in Pinellas County Florida was in 2005 at the age of 18, and was an obstruction charge. That charge seemed to have resulted in a fine that needed to be paid and no apparent jail time.

From there the list of offenses that Cobb allegedly committed from that date to present include: felony possession of cocaine, having no driver’s license, blocking city sidewalk, felony delinquent in possession of firearms, felony armed trespass, more felony possession of cocaine charges, infraction of open container laws, no valid drivers license, felony robbery,  a couple of marijuana possession charges, etc., as well as having his probation revoked several times due to this alleged exemplary behavior.

At first glance, a skimpy report on an ammunition charge that could quickly be dismissed as being futile and a waste of resources, actually uncovered a pattern of a lifetime of allegedly criminal behavior by Cobb.

Unfortunately what this shows is a complete breakdown of the system. No different than Capone being put away for tax evasion. A bullet in a pocket to lock up an alleged criminal. And at that, who knows what kinds of deals Cobb may get or has made, or why there was no mention of the firearm (never mind the baby that was in the vehicle at the time of the event) causing an indictment.

Where’s this leave law enforcement, the feds, the ATF, and society at large when dealing with such situations? Is this going to be it? Is this the indictment, presumably for a round of ammunition in a pocket, that’s going to cause Cobb to turn his life around? We’ll have to keep our eyes on future reporting on how Mr. Cobb fares going forward. I’ll admit, at first I was skeptical about what the ATF was putting out there, but on this one, they seem to have gotten it right.