Drug operation involving guns brings Muskegon Heights man a decade in prison

A man arrested last fall for selling heroin outside a home in Muskegon Heights will spend 10 years in prison.

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, MICH. - A man arrested last fall after selling heroin outside a Muskegon Heights home was sentenced to a decade in federal prison for being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

Stephen Adonis Conley, 30, “poses a danger to the community,’’ federal prosecutors said in asking for a lengthy sentence.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Maloney on Monday sentenced him to 10 years in prison – the maximum term available.

“Trafficking in illegal drugs while having ready access to loaded handguns poses a significant risk to the community,’’ Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean M. Lewis wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “This is particularly true given the defendant’s lengthy criminal history.’’

Conley has prior convictions in Muskegon County for drug and weapons violations that resulted in prison.  He was released from prison in March, 2016.

His juvenile record includes 10 cases, including several violent offenses. He has seven convictions as an adult; offenses include aggravated assault and domestic violence.

Conley “was not deterred by his prior convictions,’’ Lewis wrote. “The Muskegon community suffers from violence and drug trafficking. There is a great need to deter such conduct by others and a significant sentence will tend to deter such conduct.’’

A police informant in September bought heroin from Conley outside a home on 8th Street near Seaway Drive, court records show. The following day, police raided the house. They found a .40 caliber pistol, a .357 caliber revolver and 66 rounds of ammunition. One of the guns was stolen.

Prior convictions precluded Conley from having guns and ammunition. He was accused of using the Muskegon Heights home for drug trafficking, court records show.

Conley in January pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. In exchange for his plea, federal prosecutors dismissed charges of maintaining a drug premises and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Once he gets out of prison, Conley will spend three years on supervised release.

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