Convicted Felon in Memphis Used a Firearm to Traffic Drugs, Feds Say

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Federal officials in Memphis have sentenced a man, already a felon, to prison for possessing a firearm, possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

This, according to a press release that officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee published on their website this week.

Officials sentenced that man, Demetrius Lay, 41, to 120 months in federal prison, the press release said.

“According to information presented in court, on July 24, 2018, officers with the Memphis Police Department performed a traffic stop on Faxon Street. The driver, Demetrius Lay, pulled into the driveway of a residence near that location. When officers approached, Lay fled the vehicle and threw a rifle over a fence and into an adjacent yard,” the press release said.

“Officers recovered the rifle, and a large plastic bag next to the rifle. The rifle was reported stolen on July 5, 2018. Inside the plastic bag were three smaller plastic bags all containing a white rock- like substance suspected to be crack cocaine. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation forensic laboratory tested the narcotics and determined the defendant possessed over 28 grams of cocaine.”

Lay is a prohibited person with a prior felony conviction history that includes voluntary manslaughter, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. As a result federal law prohibits him from possessing firearms or ammunition, the press release said.

“On December 13, 2018, Lay was indicted for one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one count of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. On July 23, 2020, Lay pled guilty as charged in the indictment,” according to the press release.

“On October 27, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Mark S. Norris sentenced the defendant to 120 months in federal prison followed by four years supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.”

The Memphis Police Department and Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Task Force investigated this case. The 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, the press release said.

In 2017, PSN was reinvigorated as part of the Justice Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, according to the press release.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Thought to “Convicted Felon in Memphis Used a Firearm to Traffic Drugs, Feds Say”

  1. 83ragtop50

    Surely a convicted felon would not illegally possess a firearm. If we can just get enough criminal justice “reform” all felons will be permitted to possess firearms. (Sarcasm!)

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