North Carolina man sentenced to 20 years on gun charges

April 16, 2022 GMT

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man has been sentenced to two consecutive 10-year prison sentences on firearms charges connected to a hostage situation and drug trafficking violations.

Matthew Leviticus Murphy, 32, was sentenced Friday for possession of a firearm by a felon in separate incidents in Greensboro in 2020 and 2021, according to a Department of Justice news release.

Court documents said Murphy forced his way into a home on Nov. 21, 2020. Murphy pointed a firearm at several occupants of the house, including a 3-year-old child, and demanded that the family pretend to know him once police arrived.

One family member told officers that Murphy had threatened to shoot them if they didn’t cooperate, the news release said.

On Jan. 21, 2021, Greensboro police stopped a car in which Murphy was a passenger. Prosecutors said Murphy attempted to conceal a plastic bag containing white powder. A search turned up two more bags containing a white powder, a firearm, and a large amount of cash.

Laboratory testing confirmed that the powder contained fentanyl.