Charleston felon sentenced to 10 years in prison for gun and drug crimes
Morris has a criminal record of attempted murder and willful exposure to a firearm
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Keith Morris, 35, of Charleston, was sentenced yesterday to 120 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm and intent on handing out 40 grams or more of fentanyl, which is a five-year mandatory minimum.
According to the settlement agreement and statements made in court, on Jan. 23, 2020, following a response to a two-vehicle accident on Jan. 23, a 26.9mm semi-automatic pistol was found in a locked safe in Morris’ car. On August 7, 2020, police officers again seized about 176 grams of fentanyl and a loaded handgun of caliber SCCY CPX-1 9 mm from the glove compartment of Morris’ car during a traffic stop in Charleston. Morris admitted to law enforcement that he intended to distribute the controlled substances seized from him. Morris went on to admit that he knew he was banned from possession of firearms, having previously been convicted of attempted murder and willful endangerment by firearms in Kanawha County District Court.
“This case shows the significant results that have been achieved as a result of the strong partnership between the ATF and the Charleston Police Department,” said Acting US Attorney Lisa G. Johnston. “I applaud the work of our law enforcement partners to remove repeat offenders and violent drug traffickers from the community. Through Project Safe Neighborhoods, we are concentrating our efforts and resources on making the community safer by tackling the root causes of violent crime. ”
“Gun drug traffickers are criminals who pose an increased threat to the security of our communities,” said R. Shawn Morrow, ATF specialty agent of the Louisville Field Division. “Yesterday’s conviction is another example of the continued efforts of ATF and the Charleston Police Department working together to remove a repeat offender from the streets and make our communities safer for all.”
“The teamwork you see in this joint effort has saved many lives by addressing two of our greatest threats to society, gun violence and illicit drugs,” said Chief James “Tyke” Hunt of the Charleston Police Department. “Project Safe Neighborhoods enables federal agencies like the ATF and our US Attorney’s Office to expand exponentially the enforcement efforts of the Charleston Police Department and our Kanawha County Attorney’s Office. These joint operations remove legal restrictions and increase penalties in areas necessary for the safety of our communities. “
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), and the Charleston Police Department conducted the investigation.
US District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin pronounced the verdict. The US Assistant Attorney Negar M. Kordestani took the indictment.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), at the heart of the Department of Justice’s efforts to reduce violent crime. PSN is an evidence-based program that has been shown to be effective in reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a wide range of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to solve them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses its enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and works with local prevention and re-entry programs to reduce crime on a sustainable basis.
A copy of this news release is available on the US Attorney’s website for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case # 2: 20-cr-00167.