For Immediate Release
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
, United States Attorney
Maria Chapa Lopez
Contact: William Daniels
Jacksonville Man Who Commuted Over 20 Miles to Operate Northside Crack Houses Sentenced to Federal Prison
Tampa Field Division
Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard has sentenced Maurice Mervin (41, Jacksonville) to five years in federal prison for conspiring to distribute “crack” cocaine and for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. The Court also ordered him to forfeit a Dodge Challenger that he had used in his drug business.
Mervin pleaded guilty on July 13, 2016.
According to court documents, Mervin lived with his family in a suburban community in southern Duval County. Each day, he commuted more than 20 miles to Jacksonville’s northside to manage and supply crack houses operated by his underlings. In taking down Mervin’s drug ring, special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives executed multiple search warrants that led to the discovery of a loaded firearm in Mervin’s home, over 100 rounds of ammunition, and equipment and chemicals used to “cook” crack cocaine. Mervin has a prior felony conviction for possession of cocaine and was therefore prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.
This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Coolican.
This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN) — a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety – one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.