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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Ohio
Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Nine-Time Felon Sentenced to More Than 17 Years in Prison for Illegal Possession of Firearm, Drugs

CINCINNATI – A Cincinnati man with nine prior felony convictions was sentenced in U.S. District Court today to 210 months in prison for committing additional crimes involving firearms and illegal drugs.

On May 22, 2019, a Cincinnati Police Officer attempted to stop a car being driven by Terry Willis, 52. Willis fled on foot and attempted to climb over a barbed-wire fence. When the officer caught him, Willis tried to wrestle away and repeatedly reached toward his waistband. The officer told Willis not to reach, and shortly a second officer arrived and helped subdue Willis.

While handcuffing Willis, officers found in his waistband a 9mm handgun with a round in the chamber and an extended magazine holding 30 rounds of ammunition. Officers also found on Willis’s person a bag containing more than 25 grams of cocaine, another bag with more than six grams of marijuana and more than $1,600 in cash.

A federal grand jury indicted Willis three months later, charging him with possession with intent to distribute illegal drugs, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime, and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He pleaded guilty in August 2021 to all three charges.

Willis has a prior felony conviction for possessing a firearm as a felon and several other felonies relating to distributing and possessing controlled substances. As a previously convicted felon, Willis is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.

Willis was also sentenced to serve 10 years on supervised release after he completes his prison term.

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Daryl S. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and Cincinnati Police Chief Teresa A. Theetge announced the sentence imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Douglas R. Cole. Assistant United States Attorneys Julie Garcia and Kelly Rossi represented the United States in this case.

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