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Press Release

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Hickman Felon for Illegally Possessing a Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Kentucky

Paducah, KY – A federal grand jury in Paducah, Kentucky, returned an indictment on February 13, 2024, charging a Hickman man with possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony.  

U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky, Special Agent in Charge R. Shawn Morrow of the ATF Louisville Field Division, and Sheriff Chad Parker of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office made the announcement.

According to the indictment, on November 1, 2023, Maurice Thorpe, 44, of Hickman, possessed a Jennings Firearm 9-millimeter pistol. Thorpe was prohibited from possessing a firearm because he had previously been convicted of the following felony offenses:

On March 27, 1998, in Fulton Circuit Court, Thorpe was convicted of trafficking in cocaine. 

On January 13, 2000, in Fulton Circuit Court, Thorpe was convicted of possession of cocaine.

On November 12, 2024, in Fulton Circuit Court, Thorpe was convicted of trafficking in marijuana over 8 ounces. 

On October 26, 2005, in Calloway Circuit Court, Thorpe was convicted of trafficking in a controlled substance and first-degree fleeing or evading police. 

On April 10, 2014, in Fulton Circuit Court, Thorpe was convicted of trafficking in a controlled substance – second or greater offense. 

On May 25, 2017, in Fulton Circuit Court, Thorpe was convicted of second-degree criminal abuse. 

Thorpe made his initial court appearance today before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. If convicted, Thorpe faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. With three prior qualifying felony convictions, Thorpe could face no less than 15 years, and up to life, in federal prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. The Defendant remains in federal custody pending further court proceedings.   

There is no parole in the federal system.

This case is being investigated by the ATF Paducah Post of Duty and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Carlisle County Sheriff’s Office. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leigh Ann Dycus, of the U.S. Attorney’s Paducah Branch Office, is prosecuting this case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Updated February 15, 2024