A St. Petersburg man has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for his involvement in a series of crimes, including an armed robbery at a dry cleaner and a murder related to an exotic nightclub drug conspiracy. Corey Small, 44, pleaded guilty to multiple charges and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Barber. The case sheds light on the interconnected nature of criminal activities and highlights the efforts of law enforcement agencies in ensuring public safety.
The Robbery and Drug Conspiracy:
According to court documents, in 2014, Small committed an armed robbery at a St. Petersburg dry cleaning business. He pointed a firearm at the clerk and stole a mere $51.41. Four years later, in 2018, Small became involved in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine with an employee of an exotic nightclub. A dispute arose when someone attempted to convince the nightclub employee to sever ties with Small and cease drug trafficking activities on his behalf.
The Tragic Murder:
During the confrontation, Small shot the individual four times, resulting in his untimely death. This act of violence not only ended a life but also exposed the dangerous consequences associated with illegal drug operations. The case highlights the devastating impact that criminal enterprises can have on individuals and communities.
Law Enforcement Investigation and Prosecution:
The investigation into these crimes involved various law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Pinellas Park Police Department, the St. Petersburg Police Department, and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Assistant United States Attorney Charlie D. Connally prosecuted the case, ensuring that justice was served.
Project Safe Neighborhoods:
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive program aimed at reducing violent crime and gun violence by fostering collaboration between law enforcement agencies and communities. The program focuses on building trust, supporting community-based organizations, setting strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring results. The Department of Justice launched an enhanced violent crime reduction strategy for PSN on May 26, 2021, further reinforcing its commitment to creating safer neighborhoods.
Corey Small's sentencing to 25 years in federal prison for his involvement in an armed robbery and murder linked to an exotic nightclub drug conspiracy underscores the serious consequences of engaging in criminal activities. This case serves as a reminder of the critical role law enforcement plays in maintaining public safety and holding individuals accountable for their actions. Through initiatives like Project Safe Neighborhoods, efforts are being made to address and reduce violent crime, creating safer communities for all.