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Men sentenced for armed robberies

Staff Reports • Aug 29, 2013 at 10:20 PM

GREENEVILLE –– Two local men were sentenced this week in U.S. District Court, both on charges of armed robbery, according to federal court news release.

According to the release, Geoff Billips, 36, of Bluff City, was sentenced Wednesday by Judge J. Ronnie Greer to 104 months in prison, after he pleaded guilty to armed robbery and brandishing a firearm at the Check Into Cash business on Volunteer Parkway in Bristol.

Billips faced a minimum of 84 months up to life in prison for the firearm charge, and upon his release from prison will be on probation under the U.S. Probation Office for five years.

The Bristol Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI were the participating agencies in the investigation that convicted Billips, according to the release.

Larry Shane Morgan, 37, of Greeneville, was sentenced Thursday by Judge Leon Jordan following an October trial that convicted him of a June 2012 robbery by force at a Stop and Go Market in Chuckey, a July 2012 armed robbery of Greeneville Federal Bank on Andrew Johnson Highway and being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition.

According to the release, Morgan was sentenced to 447 months in prison, with an additional 24 months for violation of supervised release on a prior federal conviction.

His total sentence was 471 months to be served in prison and upon his release he will be under supervised release for five years.

Morgan was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims of the crimes.

According to the release, federal law requires a five-year minimum mandatory sentence for possession of a firearm in the commission of a violent offense, which carries a 25-year minimum mandatory sentence.

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