Matthew Morlee, a 46-year-old man from Springfield, Illinois, has been sentenced to 60 months and one day in prison for manufacturing methamphetamine and possessing a firearm during and in furtherance of a drug crime. He was indicted in September 2018 and pleaded guilty in May 2023. The charges carry significant penalties, including up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, and a life term of supervised release for manufacturing methamphetamine, and up to life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and five years of supervised release for possessing a firearm in relation to a drug crime. Morlee’s case was part of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, which involved multiple law enforcement agencies. This sentencing highlights the continued efforts to combat drug trafficking and promote community safety through programs like Project Safe Neighborhoods.
Matthew Morlee’s Sentencing
On September 5, 2023, Matthew Morlee, a 46-year-old resident of Springfield, Illinois, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough to 60 months and one day in prison. This sentencing comes as a result of Morlee’s involvement in the manufacturing of methamphetamine and his possession of a firearm during and in furtherance of a drug crime. Morlee had been indicted in September 2018 and later pleaded guilty in May 2023.
The crimes committed by Matthew Morlee include the manufacturing of methamphetamine and the possession of a firearm during a drug crime. Manufacturing methamphetamine is a serious offense, as it involves the production of a dangerous and illegal drug. Possessing a firearm during a drug crime enhances the severity of the charges, as it highlights the potential for violence and further criminal activity.
Indictment and Guilty Plea
Matthew Morlee’s indictment in September 2018 marked the beginning of the legal proceedings against him. The indictment outlined the charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and possessing a firearm during a drug crime. Morlee pleaded guilty to these charges in May 2023, admitting his involvement in the crimes. By pleading guilty, Morlee accepted responsibility for his actions and avoided a lengthy trial process.
Bond Revocation and Detention
Following his initial release on bond, Matthew Morlee’s bond was subsequently revoked, and he was detained in the custody of the United States Marshals Service. This revocation and detention highlight the seriousness of the charges against him and the potential flight risk or danger he posed to society. Morlee’s detention ensures that he will serve his sentence and eliminates the risk of further criminal activity.
Penalties for Manufacturing Methamphetamine
The penalties for manufacturing a substance containing methamphetamine are severe. According to statutory guidelines, individuals convicted of this crime can face up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and a life term of supervised release. These penalties reflect the serious nature of methamphetamine production and the harm it can cause to individuals and communities.
Penalties for Possessing a Firearm During a Drug Crime
Possessing a firearm during and in furtherance of a drug crime is also a grave offense. The statutory penalties for this crime include up to life imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to five years of supervised release. These penalties take into account the increased potential for violence and harm when firearms are involved in drug-related activities.
Law Enforcement Involvement
FBI Safe Streets Task Force
The investigation and apprehension of Matthew Morlee were carried out by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force. This task force is a collaborative effort between various law enforcement agencies aimed at combating organized crime, including drug trafficking and violent offenses. By pooling their resources and expertise, these agencies can effectively target and dismantle criminal enterprises.
Members of the Task Force
The FBI Safe Streets Task Force involved several law enforcement agencies in the investigation of Matthew Morlee. These agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Illinois State Police, the Springfield Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the Chatham Police Department. The collective efforts of these agencies demonstrate the commitment to public safety and the coordination necessary to address complex criminal cases.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Z. Weir
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Z. Weir represented the government in the prosecution of Matthew Morlee. As a member of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Weir played a crucial role in building the case against Morlee and presenting the evidence during the legal proceedings. Weir’s expertise and dedication to justice ensured that Morlee was held accountable for his actions and that the prosecution had a strong representative in the courtroom.
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Mission and Goals of PSN
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a program that aims to reduce violent crime and gun violence by bringing together law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. The mission of PSN is to make neighborhoods safer and protect individuals from the harmful effects of crime. By focusing on collaboration, prevention, and enforcement, PSN seeks to create a safer environment for all residents.
Core Principles of the Violent Crime Reduction Strategy
The violent crime reduction strategy of Project Safe Neighborhoods is based on several core principles. These principles include fostering trust and legitimacy in communities, supporting community-based organizations that work to prevent violence, setting strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results of these efforts. The strategy recognizes the importance of community engagement and evidence-based practices in reducing violent crime and promoting public safety.
Nevada Man Sentenced for Firearms Conviction
In a related case, a Nevada man named Jacob Pangborn was sentenced to 77 months in prison for possessing a firearm and ammunition as a felon. This case exemplifies the seriousness with which the justice system treats firearms offenses and the potential for lengthy imprisonment.
Cuba, Missouri Man Sentenced for Drug and Gun Offenses
A man from Cuba, Missouri named Raymond Toth was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison for his involvement in conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and other drug and gun offenses. This case highlights the nationwide impact of drug trafficking and the need for strong prosecution to address these crimes.
California Men Sentenced for Drug Trafficking
Two men from Santa Ana, California, were sentenced to prison for their roles in drug trafficking to Central Illinois. Cesar Lopez Reyes and Angel Tovar received multiple years of imprisonment for their involvement in narcotics distribution. This case underscores the interconnected nature of drug-related crimes and the collaborative efforts needed to combat them.
Central District of Illinois Main Office
The Central District of Illinois Main Office is located at 318 S. Sixth Street, Springfield, IL 62701. This office serves as a central hub for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and provides support and resources to the various branches and divisions within the district.
Email and Phone Contacts
For inquiries or assistance, individuals can contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at the following phone numbers:
- Springfield (HQ): (217) 492-4450
- Peoria: (309) 671-7050
- Rock Island: (309) 793-5884
- Urbana: (217) 373-5875
Alternatively, individuals can reach out via email to the appropriate branch based on their location and inquiry.
Stay Connected on Social Media
To stay updated on the latest news and developments from the Central District of Illinois, individuals can connect with the U.S. Attorney’s Office on social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn. These platforms provide a convenient way to receive timely updates and engage with the office’s content.