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Press Release

Two Florida-based Defendants Plead Guilty to Methamphetamine-related Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Two defendants pleaded guilty Monday to charges related to methamphetamine trafficking in California, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

Jonte Deon Scott, 25, of Port Richey, Florida, pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Donald Conferlete Carney Jr., 23, of Tarpon Springs, Florida, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

According to court documents, in September 2019, Scott and Carney traveled together from Florida to California. On Sept. 5, 2019, they traveled to Bakersfield to meet Fayth Shamariah Jones, 23, of Bakersfield. Carney, Scott, and Jones agreed together to transport approximately 25 kilograms of methamphetamine to the Sacramento area, using a rented GMC Suburban. In the early morning hours of Sept. 6, 2019, officers from the California Highway Patrol attempted to stop the Suburban. Instead of stopping, the driver—later determined to be Jones—began a high-speed chase, reaching speeds up to 120 miles per hour. After approximately 10 minutes the police cornered the vehicle at a cul-de-sac in the Merced County town of Planada.

This case is the product of an investigation by the California Highway Patrol, the Merced Area Gang/Narcotics Enforcement Team (MAGNET), Homeland Security Investigations, and the Merced District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael W. Redding is prosecuting the case.

Jones is currently scheduled for a jury trial on June 9. The charges against her are only allegations; she is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Scott and Carney are scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb on August 9. Both defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Updated May 11, 2021

Drug Trafficking