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Zachary man sentenced to 200 months in federal prison for gun and drug charges

Acting United States Attorney Ellison C. Travis announced that U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles sentenced Eddie Darnell Jones, Sr., age 47, of Zachary, Louisiana, to 200 months in federal prison following his convictions for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  The Court further sentenced Jones to serve four years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment and ordered that the firearm involved be forfeited.

According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, on March 8, 2019, deputies with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office initiated a traffic stop of a Mercedes-Benz C240, in the Banks Town area of Baton Rouge.  At the time of the stop, Jones was the driver and registered owner of the vehicle.  As the deputies made contact with the vehicle’s occupants, they smelled marijuana emanating from the vehicle and observed a digital scale and clear plastic baggie containing what appeared to be four Xanax pills, in plain view on top of the center console.  Jones was immediately advised of his Miranda rights and detained.

During a subsequent search of Jones’ vehicle, the deputies recovered a loaded, SCCY CPX-2, 9mm handgun, found on the driver’s floorboard; more than $20,000 in small denominations of cash in various locations throughout the vehicle; and distribution quantities of methamphetamine and marijuana. The deputies also found numerous clear plastic sandwich bags throughout the vehicle.  Following the search, Jones admitted that everything found in the vehicle, including the aforementioned firearm, belonged to him.

Prior to possessing the firearm, Jones was convicted in East Baton Rouge Parish in 2016 of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, MDMA, cocaine, and alprazolam, and one count of attempted possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  Additionally, Jones had several other prior felony convictions in the 19th and 20th Judicial District Courts for the State of Louisiana.

Acting U.S. Attorney Ellison Travis stated, “This conviction and sentence of a repeat offender reaffirms our commitment to fight violence by investigating, arresting, and prosecuting convicted criminals who decide to illegally possess firearms and sell drugs.  Great credit goes to our partnership with local authorities for this result.  I want to thank our prosecutor, the ATF, and the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office for their work on this case.”

“The sentence imposed today sends a message to repeat offenders, like Eddie Darnell Jones, Sr., who are prohibited from possessing firearms that they will be held accountable for their actions,” said ATF New Orleans Field Division Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn.  “The collaborative effort of federal and local law enforcement in Baton Rouge, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office, has ultimately made our community safer.”

This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.   It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Caroline Gardner.