April 30 (Grand Rapids, MI) -- U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Robert L. Corso announced the successful prosecution and sentencing of Lansing area drug dealer Otis Morris in a Kalamazoo federal courtroom this morning.
At sentencing, Chief U.S. District Court Judge Paul Maloney stated: “The only way to protect society from you and your drug dealing it to incarcerate you for the rest of your life.” Judge Maloney then sentenced Lansing resident Otis Morris to a term of life imprisonment without parole. Judge Maloney stated that it was important to send a message of deterrence not only to Otis Morris, but to anybody else who thought it was acceptable to deal in kilogram quantities of cocaine in the Western District of Michigan.
Otis Morris, aged 60, was convicted at jury trial in December of 2011, of the following offenses: Conspiracy to Distribute and to Possess With Intent to Distribute 5 Kilograms or More of Cocaine; Felon in Possession of a Firearm; Distribution of an Unspecified Quantity of Cocaine; Possession With Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Cocaine, and Possession With Intent to Distribute an Unspecified Quantity of Cocaine Base.
The federal indictment alleged that Otis Morris was involved in a long-term conspiracy to distribute kilogram quantities of cocaine in and around the Lansing, Michigan, area. Chief Judge Maloney found that Otis Morris ought to have his sentence enhanced because he was a leader/organizer of the offense, sought to obstruct justice following his arrest by a Michigan State Police Trooper, and was a career offender based on his having at least three prior convictions for selling cocaine in Ingham and Eaton counties. Also included in the sentence was a fine of $125,000, a special assessment of $900 and a ten year term of Supervised release in case for any reason the defendant were ever to be released from prison.
This case was investigated by the DEA, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms the Lansing Police Department, the Michigan State Police, and agents of the Tri-County Metro Narcotics Team.