For Immediate Release
Peoria Felon Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Possession of a Firearm
PEORIA, Ill. – A Peoria, Illinois, man, Anthony Derrell Morris, 22, of the 1600 block of North Great Oak Court, was sentenced on December 20, 2022, to 30 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for possessing a firearm as a felon.
At the sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid, the government presented evidence that in May 2022 the Peoria Police Department located a 2016 Honda Fit that had been reported stolen the previous day. Police conducted surveillance and saw Morris approach the car and enter the driver’s seat. When police converged on the vehicle, an officer on the passenger side saw a firearm tucked between Morris’s right leg and the center console, with the grip of the gun in plain sight. Morris had previously been convicted of the felony offense of possession of stolen motor vehicle and was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition. The gun, a .380 caliber pistol, was loaded and had previously been reported as stolen. Morris was placed into custody without incident. He admitted that he illegally obtained the firearm the day prior to his arrest.
Morris was arrested and indicted in May 2022 and pleaded guilty in August 2022. He has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest.
The statutory penalties for possession of a firearm by a felon at the time of Morris’ offense were up to 10 years’ imprisonment, up to five years of supervised release, and a possible fine of up to $250,000.
“The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to work diligently with its federal and local law enforcement partners to seek swift and certain accountability for felons that possess firearms in our community”, said Assistant U.S. Attorney, Ronald L. Hanna.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Peoria Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna represented the government in the prosecution.
The case against Morris 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.