GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Otis Morris, 60, of Lansing was convicted today after a jury trial the United States District Court in Kalamazoo. The jury trial was conducted before Chief United States District Judge Paul L. Maloney.
Otis Morris, who has four previous felony drug convictions, was convicted of engaging in a conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine in the Lansing area between August of 2010, and May 6, 2011. Testimony at trial included evidence that Morris had purchased 13 kilograms of cocaine during April and May from drug suppliers in Chicago, and brought it back to Lansing for distribution. Otis Morris faces a mandatory life sentence as a result of this conviction.
On May 6, 2011, Morris was arrested by Michigan State Police near Paw Paw, Michigan, with more than 4 kilograms of additional cocaine, some crack cocaine, a Jennings-Bryco 9 mm pistol and almost $24,000 in cash. That traffic stop resulted in prosecution and his conviction of the following offenses:
Morris was also convicted of distributing an ounce of cocaine in Lansing on April 13, 2011, for which he faces a sentence of up to 30 years’ incarceration, followed by a period of at least six years and up to life on supervised release, along with a fine of up to $2,000,000.
On May 24, 2011, while Morris was on bond, Lansing Police Officers, in conjunction with members of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, arrested Morris while he was in possession of several ounces of cocaine and cocaine base. This resulted in his prosecution and conviction on charges of possession with intent to deliver cocaine and cocaine base, for which he faces a consecutive sentence of up to thirty years’ incarceration, followed by a period of at least six years and up to life on supervised release, along with a fine of up to $2,000,000. The consecutive sentence is called for because he committed these offenses while on bond in the same federal case.
Finally, on March 31, 2011, Morris was arrested by Michigan State Police Officers in Branch County, Michigan, while in possession of a 38-caliber revolver. He was charged with being a felon in possession and armed career criminal and therefore faces a mandatory 15-year prison term at sentencing.
This case was developed by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force of West Michigan and included efforts of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Michigan State Police, the Lansing Police Department and the Tri-County Metro Narcotics Enforcement Team.