TAMPA, Fla. – The purported leader of a Florida gang known as Fruit Town Brims has been sentenced to federal prison.
Micheal Hankerson, 31, of Poinciana, was sentenced to six years in federal prison last week for possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon. As part of his sentence, the court also ordered Hankerson to forfeit firearms and ammunition.
Hankerson was found guilty on December 3, 2022.
According to court documents, in May 2022, investigators developed information that a known member of the Fruit Town Brims gang, who had been wanted on felony warrants from Alachua County for more than a month, was living in Hankerson’s residence in Poinciana. Hankerson was known to be a high-ranking member of the Fruit Town Brims gang, according to prosecutors.
On May 10, 2022, the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force entered the residence to arrest the fugitive. As they searched the house for the fugitive, they reportedly spotted a firearm with an attached large drum magazine in plain view in the master bedroom.
Hankerson, who had previously been convicted of robbery and served a five-year prison sentence, is prohibited from possessing a firearm. The task force officers informed agents from the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) of their observations.
After obtaining a warrant to search Hankerson’s residence, FDLE investigators searched the house and reported finding multiple firearms and various types of ammunition. The firearm seen in the master bedroom, a CZ Scorpion Evo 3 semi-automatic with a 50-round drum magazine attached, was reportedly loaded with 50 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
Investigators also said they recovered parts of a disassembled AR-15-style pistol in the house. When assembled, the pistol—painted and its serial number obliterated—was functional and capable of firing .223 caliber ammunition. Ninety-seven rounds of ammunition were recovered during the search, including 9mm ammunition, .223 caliber ammunition, and 12-gauge shotgun shells, investigators said.
Investigators said Hankerson admitted he was the highest-ranking member of the Brims gang in Florida. He also admitted that he had spray-painted the components of the AR-15-style firearm.
He claimed the CZ Scorpion firearm belonged to his girlfriend, who was not a convicted felon. Investigators said they obtained other evidence indicating Hankerson had acquired the firearm and was its true owner.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Michael Sinacore prosecuted it.