December 02, 2011
Contact: Special Agent Cheryl Davis
Phone Number: (313) 234-4000
Lansing Cocaine Dealer Convicted
Otis Morris Faces Life Sentence on Multiple Charges
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:
- Possession with Intent to Distribute More than 500 grams of cocaine, for which he faces a mandatory prison sentence of no less than 10 years and up to life in prison, followed by a period of at least eight years and up to life on supervised release, along with a fine of up to $8,000,000;
- Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, 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;
- Being a felon in possession of a firearm. Because of his four prior felony drug convictions, Morris is deemed an Armed Career Criminal and faces a mandatory 15 year prison term; and
- Possession of a Firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, for which he must be sentenced to a period of at least five years’ incarceration which must also be served consecutively to the sentences imposed on any other charge with which he has been convicted, including the conspiracy offense.
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 (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.