Florida man sentenced to 12 years for unlawfully possessing loaded gun

A Florida man will spend more than 12 years in prison after police discovered a loaded handgun in his possession during a domestic violence call earlier this year.

Terry Cadet, 34, pleaded guilty in June to unlawfully carrying a gun, despite multiple prior felony convictions and an active domestic violence restraining order that required him to surrender all firearms.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office arrested Cadet in February for domestic battery after his girlfriend called 911 and reported he’d hit her, multiple times, with closed fists. Officers pulled Cadet over in West Park, where they ordered him out of his vehicle at gunpoint, according to court documents. While searching Cadet, officers discovered a loaded Kel-Tec 9mm Luger pistol, with an obliterated serial number, concealed in the seat of his pants.

Cadet’s attorney requested “mercy” in a sentencing memorandum filed Sept. 7 in the District of Southern Florida, noting his client suffered from PTSD and anxiety following an attempt on his life in 2016. The defense also said Cadet’s extended absence from his young son and diabetic mother would “have a resounding negative impact.”

“Based upon the facts in the case at bar, the only individual whose safety was put in jeopardy was Terry Cadet,” said Richard Merlino, Cadet’s attorney, in court documents. “Again, victim Nicole Green and law enforcement witnesses will not testify that Terry used the firearm in any way against them. Terry attempted to conceal the firearm in his buttocks until it was delicately removed by law enforcement. Terry’s possession of the firearm was for a non-criminal motive.”

District Judge James Cohn sentenced Cadet to 151 months on Thursday, the lower end of the recommended punishment outlined under federal law. He will then serve three years of supervised release, the Department of Justice said.

Cadet’s prosecution falls under the purview of the DOJ’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, an initiative designed to combat gun crime. Through PSN, DOJ prosecutions for those charged with violating federal firearm laws reached a decade high in 2017. Violent crime prosecutions are likewise at the highest rate in more than 25 years.

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