Madison Man Sentenced to 78 Months in Prison for Drug Trafficking and Illegal Gun Possession
MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Chaz E. Morris, 35, Madison, Wisconsin was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 78 months in federal prison for possessing over 40 grams of fentanyl with the intent to distribute and possessing a firearm as a previously convicted felon. The prison term will be followed by 4 years of supervised release. Morris pleaded guilty to these charges on May 20, 2022.
On January 12, 21, February 3, 18, and 24, 2021, Dane County Narcotics Task Force (DCNTF) officers purchased crack cocaine from Morris’s co-defendant, Myron Macon, in Madison. The quantities ranged from 31 to 51 grams per buy and prices ranged from $2,000-3,000. During one of the buys, Chaz Morris personally distributed the crack cocaine.
On March 2, 2021, DCNTF officers executed search warrants at two drug houses operated by Morris and Macon in Madison, and leased by them using fake names. At the residence leased by Morris, officers found 718 grams of cocaine, 49 grams of fentanyl, 101 grams of heroin, 2,297 grams of marijuana, and $4,950 in cash which included buy money from a previous controlled purchase. At the residence leased by Macon, officers found 42 grams of fentanyl, 48 grams of crack cocaine, 206 grams of marijuana, a Taurus 9mm handgun with loaded magazines and over $27,000 in cash in a safe, an additional $6,000 in cash, four digital scales, and numerous cell phones. Macon was arrested at the residence and his DNA later came back on the Taurus firearm.
On August 9, 16, 25, and September 2, 2021, DCNTF officers purchased crack cocaine from Morris in Madison. On September 9, officers executed a search warrant at Morris’ new residence in Madison. When officers began knocking on the front door, Morris threw a firearm onto the street from the second-floor balcony. The firearm was identified as a loaded SCCY 9mm handgun which had been reported stolen out of Texas. Morris’ DNA was found on the firearm. In the residence, officers found 78 grams of fentanyl, 83 grams of cocaine, 27 grams of methamphetamine, 31 grams of marijuana, and $11,914 in cash, which included buy money from a prior controlled purchase. Morris was arrested at the residence.
Morris was prohibited from legally possessing a firearm and ammunition due to multiple prior felony convictions. During the time of the controlled buys and residence searches, Morris was out on bond for an open state drug trafficking case from 2019.
At sentencing, Judge Conley explained that Morris’s combination of dealing dangerous drugs and possessing a firearm to further that trafficking made the conduct more serious. He noted that Morris continued to deal drugs even after his partner, Macon, was arrested and search warrants were executed at their drug houses. Judge Conley also discussed Morris’s lengthy prior criminal record, which included multiple shorter prison sentences when he was in his early twenties.
Co-defendant Myron Macon pleaded guilty on June 1 to possessing crack cocaine and fentanyl with the intent to distribute and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He is scheduled for a sentencing hearing before Judge Conley on September 27, 2022. Macon faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 5 years and a maximum term of life.
The charges against Morris and Macon were the result of an investigation conducted by the Dane County Narcotics Task Force, Madison Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven P. Anderson prosecuted 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.