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San FRANCISCO – Deryl Craig Morse appeared in United States District Court today to face a federal indictment charging him with being a felon who possessed a loaded firearm and also charging him with possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine, announced Acting United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair.
The indictment alleges that Morse, who is 58 years old and resides in McKinleyville, California, is a convicted felon who on March 10, 2021, possessed a Ruger .357 caliber revolver loaded with six rounds of .357 ammunition. A forfeiture allegation in the indictment asserts the loaded revolver was recovered from Morse’s residence along with more than 50 additional rounds of ammunition. Morse is also charged with possessing on the same date 50 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it.
Morse made his initial appearance in federal court today before United States Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero. Morse is out of custody on condition of location monitoring. His next appearance is scheduled for July 14, 2021, for an initial appearance before United States District Judge James Donato.
The indictment charges Morse with possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B)(viii). If convicted, Morse faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years, with a maximum fine of $5,000,000. The indictment also charges Morse with being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). If convicted of this charge, Morse faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the Court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Ankur Shingal is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Daniel Fuentes and Madeline Wachs. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI and the Humboldt County Drug Task Force.