George Floyd’s alleged drug dealer Morries Hall sentenced to 15 years for sex trafficking

Hall has been in prison since December 2022 following convictions in a third-degree drug case and an illegal gun possession case.

Morries Lester Hall/Minnesota Department of Corrections

George Floyd’s alleged drug dealer has been sentenced to 15 years in prison in an unrelated sex trafficking case in Redwood County, Minn.

Morries Lester Hall, now 45, was with George Floyd on the evening of May 25, 2020, when Floyd was detained by Minneapolis police after a business at 38th and Chicago Avenue South reported Floyd tried to pay for merchandise with a fake $20 bill. Floyd died while in police custody that night, leading to days of riots, followed by years of increased crime and a dwindling police force.

Shawanda Hill and Morries Hall detained by police on May 25, 2020; Morries Hall in a Zoom court hearing prior to the Chauvin trial

Hall was named during the Derek Chauvin trial by Floyd’s girlfriend, Courtney Ross, as a person that she and Floyd had purchased controlled substances from in the past.

During events leading up to Chauvin’s trial, Hall exercised his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself and declined to testify during Chauvin’s trial. Hall’s public defender at the time explained that Hall’s testimony could open him up to a third-degree murder charge related to Floyd’s death due to the drugs that were found in the vehicle, the allegation that Floyd had swallowed drugs during the police encounter, and Hall’s close proximity to Floyd during the events of the day before and after police arrived.

Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office was in charge of prosecuting Chauvin, declined to offer Hall immunity from charges in exchange for his testimony during the trial. So, Hall was never compelled to testify during Chauvin’s trial about what he may have known about Floyd’s drug use that day or what went on inside the vehicle prior to or during police making contact with Floyd and Hall.

A surveillance video clip presented during the Chauvin trial appeared to show Hall tossing something away from the vehicle as he noticed police arriving outside Cup Foods at 38th and Chicago on May 25, 2020.

Hall was a convicted felon at the time of the George Floyd incident, with prior convictions for domestic strangulation and at least two for burglary. Hall also had active cases on charges of third-degree drug sales and felon in possession of a firearm at the time of the Floyd incident.

The Redwood County incident

Hall was charged in February 2021 related to an incident in Redwood County in October 2019, in which charges say Hall was observed for over an hour in and out of a parked vehicle outside a convenience store in Morton, Minn., near the Lower Sioux Indian Community. The vehicle also contained two other occupants. Staff at the store later told police that they’d seen tin foil being thrown from the vehicle.

An officer later located the vehicle at a casino on the reservation, which was occupied by the same three people he’d observed earlier at the store. The officer asked the driver for identification. He was identified as Hall. The female passenger initially gave a false name, and another male passenger was identified in the back seat.

Hall gave consent to search the vehicle where drug paraphernalia and residue that tested positive for methamphetamine was found, along with a cigarette box with three baggies containing powder and pills that eventually tested positive for meth, heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, and tramadol.

The female passenger in the vehicle told officers that Hall had picked her up on Lake Street in Minneapolis and had arranged for her to have sex for money with the other male passenger in the vehicle, which Hall also admitted to officers.

Hall was charged with six felony counts including solicitation, second-degree sex trafficking, promoting prostitution of an individual, and three counts of fifth-degree controlled substance, as well as a petty misdemeanor count for drug paraphernalia.

The complaint doesn’t explain why there was a 16-month gap between the incident and charging, but it’s not uncommon for there to be backlogs in drug evidence testing by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).

Hall was convicted by a jury in February in Redwood County District Court on all seven counts.

Hall was sentenced last week to 180 months in prison on the second-degree sex trafficking count, and the convictions on the other six counts had no sentence imposed.

Hall has been in prison since December 2022 following convictions in the third-degree drug case and the illegal gun possession case, as well as the prior domestic strangulation case in which Hall had originally received a stayed sentence in 2019.

The new sentence in the sex trafficking conviction was ordered to be served concurrently with the other three sentences already being served.

Minnesota only requires inmates to serve two-thirds or less of their sentence incarcerated, so with credit for 681 days already spent incarcerated, Hall is scheduled for release from prison in June 2032.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.


Crime Watch MN

Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.