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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Wanted Felon Pleads to Illegally Possessing Pistols and Ammunition Stolen from a Retired Police Officer

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Braddock Hills, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to violations of federal gun laws, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

Frankie Leon Morrison, 55, pleaded guilty to three counts before Senior United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that, on April 8, 2019, the Buffalo Township (Butler County) police were aware of multiple break-ins of vehicles in the area. A Buffalo Township Officer observed defendant Morrison reaching into a vehicle at 3:00 a.m. and when the officer attempted to speak with him, Morrison fled on foot. As Morrison later drove from the area, he was stopped and his vehicle was found to contain multiple stolen items, including two Glock pistols, ammunition, handcuffs and a key stolen from the vehicle of a recently retired Pittsburgh Police Sergeant. The defendant has multiple prior federal and state convictions which precluded him from lawfully possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law. The defendant also pleaded guilty to possessing the firearms and ammunition despite being a wanted fugitive from the state of Connecticut and to possessing stolen firearms.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for June 7, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. For each charge, the law provides for a total sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history of the defendant. Judge Cercone noted that Morrison also faces the potential of an additional sentence because at the time of his crimes he was being supervised by United States Probation Officers after serving a prior federal sentence of 123 months for Armed Bank Robbery and the Illegal Possession of a Firearm. Judge Cercone set that sentencing for the same date.

Pending sentencing, the court remanded Morrison to the custody of the United States Marshals Service.

Assistant United States Attorney Ross E. Lenhardt is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Morrison, with valuable assistance from the Buffalo Township Police Department.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Updated February 15, 2022