Jackson, TN (USDOJ.Today) Taylor Cunningham, 25, has been sentenced to 120 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney announced the sentence today.
According to information presented in Court, on June 7, 2019, agents with the 28th Judicial District Drug Task Force utilized a confidential source to arrange the purchase of approximately one ounce of methamphetamine (ICE) from Cunningham, who agreed to meet the confidential source at the Humboldt Lake parking lot. Once the defendant pulled into the parking lot, agents activated the blue lights on their vehicles and attempted to stop the vehicle. Cunningham immediately tried to evade the agents in his truck. He then jumped from the driver’s door of the vehicle while it was still moving.
Agents pursued Cunningham on foot, giving him verbal commands to stop. They observed a brown hand bag in his hands while running. Law enforcement then utilized a less lethal weapon known as the Taser; Cunningham stopped and started turning towards the agents. As he arrived partially turned towards the agents, they observed Cunningham pull a black firearm from his waist band. At this time, an agent deployed his Taser at Cunningham, striking him in the right arm, causing him to drop his firearm and fall to the ground. Cunningham was then taken into custody. One agent sustained minor injuries during the incident.
Agents located and seized a loaded Glock Model 19 9 mm pistol with a magazine that held 15 9 mm bullets; the firearm was found beside Cunningham on the ground. Agents also located and seized an extra fully-loaded 30 round magazine, a bag of methamphetamine weighing approximately 21 grams, and a set of digital scales. A search of the brown bag Cunningham was carrying revealed another three bags of methamphetamine weighing approximately 39.5 grams. Also seized were approximately 407 Xanax pills, 46 Amphetamine/Dextroamphetamine pills (approximate total weight of 16.5 grams), one ecstasy pill, two morphine pills, seven unidentifiable pills and $3,301 on Cunningham’s person.
After taking Cunningham into custody, agents verified that he was previously convicted of felony burglary in Humboldt, TN on September 15, 2017, and was therefore prohibited by federal law from possession of firearms or ammunition.
On August 4, 2020, U.S. District Court Chief Judge S. Thomas Anderson sentenced Cunningham to the maximum statutory sentence available, 120 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: “As a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and drugs, Cunningham presented a danger to public safety and to law enforcement in multiple ways. The statutory maximum sentence imposed in this case removes him from the community, and makes West Tennessee a safer place. Felon+gun+drugs=a maximum federal prison sentence that achieves justice by providing proper punishment without the sanctuary of parole.”
This case was investigated by the 28th Judicial District Drug Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Morrow prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.