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PRESS RELEASE: Last methamphetamine distribution conspirator, Artlisha Morris, sentenced for conducting financial transactions related to drug deals

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Louisiana
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 17, 2016

Last methamphetamine distribution conspirator sentenced for conducting financial transactions related to drug deals

ALEXANDRIA, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that an Alexandria woman was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison for accepting drug proceeds wired in her name and concealing the true owner of the money, convicted drug dealer Marcus Kirk.

Artlisha Morris, 32, of Alexandria, is the last of eight defendants to be sentenced for a conspiracy to distribute kilograms of methamphetamine in central Louisiana. Morris was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell on one count of money laundering. She was also sentenced to two years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine. According to the December 3, 2015 guilty plea, from April 2014 until November 2014, Morris and seven other defendants conspired to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine or aid in that conspiracy in the central Louisiana area. Morris’ role was to assist with money transfers and collect proceeds from the sale of methamphetamine.

The other seven defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. The leader of this group, Marcus Wayne Kirk, 35, of Lecompte, La., was sentenced on October 13, 2015 to 190 months while his brother, Jase Kirk Jr., 38, of Baton Rouge, was sentenced to 150 months in prison. Other defendants were sentenced as follows: Demetrius Jacobs, 36, of Glenmora, La., and Taney Ray Taylor Jr., 36, of Alexandria, both sentenced on June 19, 2015 to 108 months and 100 months in prison respectively; Jerome Blue, 35, of Pineville, La., and Gerald Dwayne Sanders, 30, of Longleaf, La., both sentenced on December 17, 2015 to 165 months and 120 months in prison respectively; and Patrick Green, 33, of Pineville, was sentenced on January 22, 2016 to 151 month in prison. The defendants were also sentenced to three years of supervised release except for Jerome Blue, Jase Kirk and Marcus Kirk, who were ordered to serve five years.

The FBI’s Central Louisiana Safe Streets Gang Task Force conducted the investigation. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and FBI Baton Rouge Resident Agency assisted with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison D. Bushnell prosecuted the case.

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