Miami, Florida – Today, a South Florida federal grand jury indicted a 21-year-old Miami man, James Robert Mills, Jr., with attempting to murder, and using a deadly weapon to forcibly assault, two federal agents and one local police officer, and with discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.  According to the indictment and an earlier-filed criminal complaint affidavit, Mills discharged a hail of gunfire at a vehicle occupied by two FBI task force officers and a City of Homestead police officer earlier this year. 

The charging documents allege the following: On January 31, the three officers were on duty, driving an unmarked white sports utility vehicle (SUV) in the Homestead-Miami area.  At about 8:30 p.m., as they drove north on S.W. 116th Avenue, an officer noticed a gun pointed at them from an open backseat window of a parked car.  According to the allegations, it was defendant Mills pointing the gun, which he then fired at the SUV as it drove by.  The officers’ SUV accelerated, trying to evade the gunshots.  The three officers in the SUV managed to lose the suspects’ vehicle without being wounded or firing their weapons. Crime scene investigators recovered approximately 24 nine-millimeter (9 mm) bullet casings and one projectile from the scene, says the affidavit.

An investigation into the shooting led law enforcement officers to Mills, whom they arrested following a search of a Miami residence where he was staying.  According to the charging documents, officers recovered a Glock 17, 9 mm pistol with an extended magazine from the attic of the house, where Mills stashed it after the January 31 shooting.

If convicted of all the offenses charged in the indictment, Mills faces a mandatory minimum term of ten years in federal prison for each of the three counts charging him with discharging a firearm during a crime of violence; and those sentences must run consecutively to all other sentences.  Therefore, if convicted on all counts, Mills faces a mandatory minimum term of 30 years’ imprisonment for the firearm counts, consecutive to any sentences imposed for attempted murder and forcible assault.  Moreover, the court may impose a maximum term of life imprisonment if Mills is convicted of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

Yesterday, following a pre-trial detention hearing, a federal magistrate judge ordered that Mills remain in detention, without bond, pending his trial.

Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami, announced the charges.   

FBI Miami investigated the case, with assistance from Homestead Police Department and Miami-Dade Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Dwayne E. Williams is prosecuting the case.

Indictments contain mere allegations and defendants are innocent unless and until found guilty in a court of law.

This case stems from Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  In 2017, PSN was reinvigorated as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.  It is also part of the Miami-Dade Chiefs of Police Operation Community Shield Initiative.