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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 1, 2017

Jacksonville Gang Founder Sentenced To 10 Years For Possessing A Firearm

Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan has sentenced Maurice Phillip Mitchell (32, Jacksonville) to 10 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony. A federal jury found him guilty on February 7, 2017. During his sentencing hearing, Mitchell was identified as the founder of the violent gang “Cut Throat Committee,” which operates throughout Florida’s prison system.

 

According to court documents, Mitchell was operating a minivan in the Lackawanna area of Jacksonville on February 29, 2016, when he was encountered by a patrol officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO). The officer observed signs of intoxication and pursued Mitchell, who led the officer on a high-speed chase and ultimately crashed the vehicle into a tree. Mitchell then exited the vehicle and fled on foot. A second JSO patrol officer, who had responded to assist, apprehended Mitchell a short time later, after finding him hiding under an SUV in a nearby parking lot. Upon returning to the scene of the crash, officers found a firearm on the dashboard of the minivan. As a previously convicted felon, Mitchell is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

 

At the sentencing hearing, the United States presented evidence that Mitchell had attempted to obstruct justice by paying a third party to falsely testify on his behalf and by attempting to intimidate a witness during trial. He received a sentencing enhancement based on this evidence. He also received an additional sentencing enhancement for reckless endangerment during his flight from police.

 

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, with assistance from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Laura Cofer Taylor and Kelly Karase.

 

This is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy. Acting United States Attorney Muldrow, along with Daryl R. McCrary, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, is coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated June 1, 2017