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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

James Felton Convicted In Manhattan Federal Court Of 2016 Murders Of Marvin Harris And Jose Morales

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JAMES FELTON was found guilty of the June 11, 2016, murder of Marvin Harris, whom FELTON shot 13 times, as well as the December 11, 2016, murder of Jose Morales, whom FELTON shot in the head.  FELTON was also found guilty of conspiring to distribute crack cocaine, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana, and related firearms offenses.  FELTON was convicted following a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “James Felton brutally executed two men on the streets of the Bronx as part of his efforts to control the drug trade in his community.  Now Felton stands convicted of his crimes.  We thank our partners at Homeland Security Investigations and the New York City Police Department for their extraordinary work on this case.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment and the evidence presented in court during the trial:

Between 2010 and 2017, FELTON was a member of a long-running narcotics conspiracy and criminal enterprise centered around 240 East 175th Street in the Bronx, New York.  On June 11, 2016, at the corner of East 175th Street and Monroe Avenue in the Bronx, FELTON shot Marvin Harris 13 times, killing him, after Harris insulted FELTON and challenged FELTON’s status within the drug territory.  Six months later, at the corner of East 175th Street and Weeks Avenue, one block away from the scene of the Harris murder, FELTON shot rival drug dealer Edwin Romero four times, then shot Jose Morales in the head, killing him.

FELTON also committed other firearms offenses in connection with his membership in the drug conspiracy and criminal enterprise.

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FELTON, 50, of the Bronx, was convicted of conspiring to distribute at least 280 grams of crack cocaine and quantities of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana; two counts of murder through use of a firearm; two counts of murder while engaged in a narcotics conspiracy; two counts of murder in aid of racketeering; using, carrying, possessing, brandishing, and discharging firearms in relation to a drug trafficking crime, on occasions other than the Harris and Morales murders; and four counts of possessing a firearm or ammunition after sustaining a felony conviction.  FELTON faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life imprisonment plus an additional mandatory minimum sentence of 75 years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other term of imprisonment imposed.  

FELTON is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Pauley on October 4, 2019.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and the New York City Police Department.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Balsamello, Matthew Hellman, and Anden Chow are in charge of the prosecution.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
19-193
Updated June 19, 2019