Gun found at NYC shooting scene traced to Portland man

Posted July 28, 2012, at 12:27 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A local man has been arrested and charged in U.S. District Court after he was linked to a gun found at a shooting scene in New York City.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John H. Rich III ordered earlier this week that Jason Lee Morrill, 32, of Portland be held without bail because he poses a safety risk to the community. The circumstances surrounding his arrest were not revealed in court documents.

Morrill was arrested July 13 and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to court documents. He is prohibited from having guns due to a 2003 conviction in Cumberland County for being a habitual motor vehicle offender.

The investigation in Maine began June 13 when an agent with the New York City Joint Firearms Task Force requested assistance from the ATF field office in Portland in tracing a gun found near the scene of a shooting involving New York City police officers in the Bronx, according to court documents.

Details about that incident were not available Saturday.

The Taurus 9 mm pistol was traced to a man in Windham, who is not named in court documents. He said on June 14 that he bought the gun at the Kittery Trading Post on Dec. 29, 2011, but did not like it and in early May 2012 placed a “for sale” ad on Uncle Henry’s website.

The Windham man said he received a call May 2 from a man who identified himself as “Jason from Portland,” according to court documents.

The men arranged to meet that afternoon in the parking lot of the Mercy Hospital Fore River Campus in Portland.

At that meeting, Morrill bought the gun, two magazines and black plastic gun case for $325. The gun seller had Morrill sign a bill of sale, which included Morrill’s cellphone number.

Court documents do not explain how the gun got from Morrill to New York City.

If convicted, Morrill faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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