CHARLESTON – One of the 15 individuals charged as part of the long-term investigation dubbed the “Woo Boyz” pleaded guilty to a federal gun crime. Memphis Ross, 20, of Charleston, pleaded guilty to possession of a fully automatic machine gun that was not registered to him.
According to court documents, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on July 26, 2020 at the Charleston home of Ross’ mother and located an IMI Uzi 9mm submachine gun. Ross admitted bringing the fully automatic firearm into his mother’s home and that the firearm was not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. Officers also found three other firearms, ammunition and some marijuana during the search.
Ross faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on October 28, 2021.
Acting United States Attorney Lisa G. Johnston made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Charleston Police Department, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), the U.S. Marshals Service and the West Virginia State Police.
Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Monica D. Coleman is handling the prosecution.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), 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.
The investigation was part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and is the keystone of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction strategy. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:21-cr-00032.