DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Tennessee

For Immediate Release

Thursday, June 11, 2020
D. Michael Dunavant
, United States Attorney
Contact: Cherri Green

Memphis Man Sentenced to Over 10 Years for Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking

MEMPHIS, TN –Marcus Christian, 33, has been sentenced to 130 months imprisonment for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the sentencing today.

According to information presented in court, law enforcement received and developed information about a subject who works for a local Pizza Hut and sells marijuana and Percocet in Cordova. On December 3, 2018, law enforcement arranged an undercover buy at which time they observed Christian selling drugs to both the undercover law enforcement and several other individuals.

On December 5, 2018, Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies executed and served a search warrant at Christian’s residence and found a loaded stolen Sig Sauer .40 caliber pistol along with 9mm cartridges, marijuana, Suboxone strips and 98 Percocet pills. A small amount of marijuana was found in a satchel in the bedroom, for a total of 41 grams of marijuana and $6,672 in U.S. currency seized. The defendant gave a recorded statement to law enforcement admitting to being a drug dealer and owning the evidence collected from the house, including the firearm, ammunition, and controlled substances.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted an interstate nexus search on the .40 caliber Sig Sauer pistol and verified that the firearm was manufactured outside of the State of Tennessee, and therefore traveled in and affected interstate commerce. Prior to the December 5, 2018 arrest, the defendant had been convicted of multiple felony offenses and was therefore prohibited by federal law from possession of a firearm or ammunition.

On June 11, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Sheryl H. Lipman sentenced Christian to 130 months imprisonment followed by 3 years supervised release.

U.S. Attorney D, Michael Dunavant said, "This defendant has a long criminal history of felony drug convictions, and was on felony probation when he was found in possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Mr. Christian has devoted his adult life to a career of repeated criminal conduct, and that prior history has finally caught up with him. This sentence removing him from the community for more than 10 years is well-deserved, and will make Memphis and West Tennessee a safer place."

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, and the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Task Force. The Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative is a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In 2017, PSN was reinvigorated as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Neal Oldham prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.


Nashville Field Division