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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 13, 2015

Defendant Involved In Bronx Shooting Sentenced To Seven Years In Prison For Illegally Possessing A Firearm After Previously Having Been Convicted Of A Felony

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JOHNNY MORGAN was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to seven years in prison for illegally possessing a firearm after previously having been convicted of a felony.  In November 2014, MORGAN was convicted after a jury trial.  MORGAN was sentenced by United States District Judge Gregory H. Woods.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Federal gun laws – including one that prohibits a convicted felon from possessing a firearm or ammunition – play a critical role in reducing gun violence in our communities.  Following more than 40 convictions for crimes ranging from drugs to assault, Johnny Morgan not only possessed a gun, but shot it four times near a nightclub in the Bronx.  For committing that federal crime, Morgan will now spend seven years in prison.  I want thank the New York City Police Department for their excellent work in this and countless other gun cases our office brings with them. ”

According to the allegations contained in court documents previously filed in federal court, and statements made in Court during the trial and sentencing proceedings of MORGAN:

On or about February 20, 2012, MORGAN was asked to leave a nightclub (the “Club”) in the Bronx, New York, by the Club’s security staff.  MORGAN left the Club, but returned several minutes later.  Once inside, after being confronted by the Club’s staff and owner, MORGAN pulled out a .40 caliber, semi-automatic Glock pistol (the “Firearm”), and pointed it at the Club’s owner.  Although MORGAN was ultimately persuaded to leave the Club without harming anyone, once outside, he walked a short distance away, and then fired four gunshots into the air.

New York City Police Department officers, responding to a 911 call, began to canvas the area.  Officers ultimately found MORGAN walking alone, down a street several blocks away from the Club.  MORGAN was arrested and the Firearm was recovered.  Subsequent DNA testing by the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (“OCME”) revealed that a profile of DNA found on the Firearm was consistent with MORGAN’s DNA.

MORGAN was taken into custody in February 2012.  Before trial, MORGAN challenged the admissibility of OCME’s DNA testing, which was ultimately found to be sufficiently reliable to be admitted at trial.  In November 2014, a jury trial was held before Judge Woods.  The jury returned a guilty verdict on November 14, 2014.

Prior to his conviction on this charge, MORGAN had previously been convicted of 40 crimes, including a federal conviction in the Southern District of New York for marijuana distribution and state assault charges.    

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In imposing today’s sentence, Judge Woods noted that in light of MORGAN’s extensive criminal history, he posed a significant risk of recidivism and had not been sufficiently deterred by his prior terms of imprisonment.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the New York City Police Department.  He also thanked OCME for its efforts.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Sidhardha Kamaraju and Robert Allen are in charge of the prosecution.

Press Release Number: 
15-215
Updated August 13, 2015