Maurice Nash, 47, of Atoka, has been sentenced to 210 months in federal prison for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney announced the sentence Thursday.
According to information presented in court, on May 3, 2019, members of the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Board of Probation and Parole and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, conducted a parole check at the residence of Maurice Nash and his brother Henry Nash.
The parole check was part of “Operation Crime Driver,” a joint federal, state and local law enforcement anti-violence initiative led by the District Attorney General’s Office for the 25th Judicial District, and conducted between February and May 2019, where law enforcement targeted offenders wanted on arrest warrants for violent criminal offenses in Tipton County.
Officers found a loaded .40 caliber handgun in a shoebox in the closet of the master bedroom. They also found $10,500 in $100 bills in a black pouch in a sleeve of a black jacket that hung beneath the firearm; and 90 suspected MDMA pills (that were ultimately determined by TBI drug chemistry lab testing to be methamphetamine), along with $180. Nash told police that everything in the house belonged to him. Officers also found eight small marijuana plants in a planter behind the house that were between 1 and 3 inches tall.
A K-9 unit on scene indicated a positive alert on two vehicles at the residence. One of the vehicles was a Tahoe registered to Nash’s mother; however, it contained Nash’s ID and other documents confirming the Tahoe belonged to Nash. Police found three bags of compressed marijuana, each weighing about one pound, on the floor by the front passenger seat of the Tahoe. Police also found an unloaded rifle similar to a SKS on the floor behind the passenger seat in the Tahoe. Nash exercised his right to remain silent concerning the drugs and rifle found in the Tahoe.
Nash’s mother told police that she did not know anything about the gun or drugs in the vehicle. She also acknowledged that her son Maurice had insurance for the Tahoe in his name. Nash was ultimately among six defendants from the first phase of Operation Crime Driver to be indicted in federal court in October 2019 for various drug and gun offenses.
On Feb. 12 Nash pled guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Due to his extensive criminal history which included prior felony convictions for aggravated assault, reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, and possession of MDMA, cocaine, and marijuana with intent to deliver, Nash was classified as an armed career criminal under federal law and was therefore subject to an enhanced, mandatory minimum sentence.
On June 25, U.S. District Court Judge Sheryl H. Lipman sentenced Nash to 210 months in federal prison followed by three years supervised release. Because Nash was on state parole release status at the time of this new arrest, this federal sentence will be served consecutively to the remainder of his state custodial sentence in the Tennessee Department of Correction as a result of parole revocation. There is no parole in the federal system.
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, “This defendant has a long criminal history of felony convictions, and was on parole when he was found in possession of firearms and illegal narcotics. Nash has devoted his adult life to a career of repeated criminal conduct, and that prior history has finally caught up with him. ‘Monster’ was a real crime driver, but will no longer terrorize Tipton County. This sentence removing him from the community for more than 17 years is well-deserved, and will make Tipton County and West Tennessee a safer place.”
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Tipton County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole.
Assistant U.S. Attorney P. Neal Oldham prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.