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Press Release

Grand Rapids Man, Senecca Keily Freeman, Sentenced To Twenty-Two Years In Federal Prison For Possessing Firearm To Protect Lethal Drug Trade

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

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Senecca Keily Freeman, 35, of Grand Rapids was sentenced today to more than twenty-two years in federal prison for possessing a firearm to protect a lethal drug trafficking operation, U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced. In addition to the 270-month prison term, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker imposed a five-year term of supervised release that will commence once Freeman is released from imprisonment and ordered him to pay a $2,500 fine.

          Freeman pleaded guilty on August 7, 2015, to illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. The relevant conduct surrounding Freeman’s conviction was outlined in the government’s sentencing memorandum and motion for upward departure and variance. On November 18 and 19, 2014, Freeman distributed controlled substances to two of his drug customers. The customers believed they were buying heroin, but the substance was in fact fentanyl, a potent synthetic opiate. The customers used the drug, and one of them overdosed and died of "acute fentanyl toxicity" as a result. The Grand Rapids Police responded to a call for a drug overdose and found the customers outside Freeman’s home. Police learned that Freeman, a convicted felon, had been distributing drugs from his home and that he had a firearm. Police obtained a search warrant and found more than 60 bags of fentanyl and a stolen firearm. Investigation revealed that Freeman used the stolen firearm to protect and further his drug operation.

          Freeman received a lengthy sentence both because of the loss of life and because he was eligible for increased penalties under the Armed Career Criminal Act ("ACCA"). Under federal law, a person who possesses a firearm after sustaining at least three previous felony convictions of a certain type and severity must be sentenced to at least fifteen years in prison. Freeman’s prior convictions included incidents involving robbery, drug dealing, and assault and battery.

          The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean M. Lewis prosecuted the case.


Updated December 22, 2015

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