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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Philadelphia Felon Living in Butler, PA Pleads Guilty to Drug and Firearms Violations

PITTSBURGH, PA - A former resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Brandon Morris, 34, pleaded guilty to three counts before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that in June 2016, Pennsylvania State Police arranged for a confidential informant (CI) to buy crack and heroin from Mark Carter. Carter arranged for Brandon Morris to meet the CI. In exchange for $2,000 in pre-recorded funds, Morris gave the CI three bricks of heroin and one-half-of-an-ounce of crack.

On June 28, 2016, troopers executed a search warrant on Morris’ residence located on E. Brady St. in Butler, PA. Carter was also staying at the residence. Troopers recovered a plastic bag containing 39.57g of raw heroin, a plastic bag containing 119.36g of crack cocaine, individual packets of heroin, $7,612.00, including pre-recorded funds, a 12-gauge shotgun and ammunition (3 shells), and various items of drug paraphernalia. Due to a prior felony conviction, Morris is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.

Mark Carter pleaded guilty on Feb. 6, 2020.

Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for July 15, 2020. The law provides for a maximum sentence of not less than 5 years and up to 40 years in prison, a fine of $5,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Morris’s bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Shanicka L. Kennedy is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation leading to the prosecution of Morris.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated February 26, 2020