MACON, Ga. – A documented gang member with a violent criminal history pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a firearm after law enforcement arrested him with a loaded semi-automatic pistol.
Derrick Murphy, 28, of Macon, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon before U.S. District Judge Marc Treadwell today and remains in custody. Murphy faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is currently scheduled for September 8, 2021. There is no parole in the federal system.
According to court documents, Murphy was taken into custody on March 5, 2020, following a traffic stop by a Georgia State Patrol (GSP) trooper on Pio Nono Avenue in Macon. The trooper on patrol observed the vehicle Murphy was driving make multiple traffic violations and then turn into a fast-food restaurant’s drive-thru. Murphy was in the drive-thru line when the trooper pulled into the parking lot. Murphy then drove away without picking up any items in the drive-thru window and backed his car into some bushes. Someone got out of the right rear passenger door and ran. Murphy drove towards the trooper’s vehicle and the trooper turned on his take down lights in order to initiate a traffic stop.
The trooper approached the vehicle and could smell marijuana coming from the vehicle. Murphy, who was in the driver’s seat, claimed that he did not know who ran from the vehicle, and he and the passenger did not have identification. Murphy gave a false name and date of birth. An infant was in the back seat of the vehicle and the trooper noticed that the child was not properly restrained in the child safety seat. In the vehicle, the trooper located several sandwich bags which contained methamphetamine along with a digital scale. A firearm was also visible. The firearm was a 9-millimeter caliber semi-automatic pistol loaded with four rounds in the magazine and one round in the chamber. Murphy, who was driving with a suspended license for DUI drugs and was wanted on a parole violation warrant, was taken into custody and admitted that he had been incarcerated for five years for criminal street gang activity and that he had purchased the firearm for $150 approximately two weeks prior to his arrest. Murphy has prior convictions in the Superior Court of Bibb County, Georgia, for violation of the street gang terrorism and prevention act, obstruction of an officer and aggravated assault.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
This case was investigated by the Georgia State Patrol (GSP), Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
Assistant U.S. Attorney William Keyes is prosecuting the case.