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Monday, March 4, 2024

Lake County felon facing up to 15 years in prison after allegedly fleeing pawn shop with stolen gun

A convicted Lake County felon is facing up to 15 years in prison after allegedly fleeing a pawn shop with a stolen gun.

Frank Thomas Diviak
Frank Thomas Diviak

U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced the arrest of 23-year-old Frank Thomas Diviak of Altoona on an indictment charging him with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of stolen firearm and stealing a firearm from a federal firearms licensee. If convicted, Diviak faces up to 15 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon and up to 10 years in prison each for possessing the stolen firearm and stealing firearms from a federal firearms licensee. A federal grand jury returned the indictment on Dec. 20, 2023.  

According to court records, Diviak was previously convicted of three state felonies, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement. On Dec. 4, 2023, Diviak went into a Lake County pawn shop, took a revolver off a display and put it in his pocket. He fled the store on his bicycle but was quickly apprehended by law enforcement. As Diviak raised his hands to surrender to the officers, the stolen revolver fell out of his clothing and onto the ground. As a convicted felon, Diviak is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition under federal law. 

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty. 

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Eustis Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Hannah Nowalk. 

This case is also part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence and to make local neighborhoods safer for everyone.  

On May 26, 2021, the department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results. 

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