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New Orleans man admits possessing gun in furtherance of drug dealing

NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that Reginald Jones, 36, of New Orleans, Louisiana, pleaded guilty on March 17, 2021 to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime before United States District Judge Sarah S. Vance.

In November 2019, Jones was indicted along with numerous other defendants for conspiring to distribute heroin, a specific count of possessing heroin with the intent to distribute, and with possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

Court documents show that as part of his plea, Jones admitted that he was intercepted on wiretaps purchasing heroin. Jones also acknowledged an intercepted call in which he was caught discussing going to shoot at unknown individuals who were messing with Jones’s brother.

In response to the call, which was intercepted on federally authorized wiretaps, FBI agents flooded the area around Bullard to prevent a shooting. As they were doing so, another call was intercepted in which Jones ordered heroin from a co-conspirator, which caused agents to relocate to the area where the transactions were normally taking place. Once there, they observed an individual who was driving a vehicle while wearing a rolled up ski mask on his head. This was in August. Agents followed the vehicle and conducted an investigatory stop. Jones was driving and still had the rolled up ski mask on his head. There was a Glock handgun with an extended magazine containing 22 live rounds, including one in the chamber, in the driver’s seat. There were three other men in the car. Agents found two tied red bandanas and another ski mask in the car. They also found a 5.56 caliber pistol with a 45 round magazine, as well as additional ammunition and magazines.

During a subsequent inventory search of Jones’s vehicle, agents found under the back seat a Glock Model 17 Gen 5 handgun, bearing serial number BGTL281, with an extended magazine and 22 live rounds (1 round in the chamber), and approximately 28.5 grams of a tan rock like substance that field tested positive for the presence of heroin. Jones had just bought that heroin before the agents pulled him over.

Sentencing is set for June 23, 2021 before District Judge Vance. Jones faces a sentence of at least 5 years imprisonment up to life, a $250,000 fine, five years supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and a $100 special assessment fee.

S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Haller.