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Press Release

Tuscaloosa Man Sentenced to More than 10 Years in Prison on Drug and Gun Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – A federal judge today sentenced a Tuscaloosa man on drug and gun charges, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Mickey French.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge L. Scott Coogler sentenced Ladarius De’Shaun Jones, 21, of Tuscaloosa, to 126 months in prison for possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance and possessing a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. Jones pleaded guilty to the charges in September 2021.  

“Drugs and guns are a combination that often leads to violence,” U.S. Attorney Escalona said. “The defendant’s actions at the time of his arrest were extremely dangerous, and I commend the Tuscaloosa Police Officers for avoiding a loss of life during this incident.”

“Removing the criminal element that illegally uses firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes and to facilitate violent crimes, is a priority of the ATF,” SAC French said.  “The ATF will continue to work in conjunction with law enforcement agencies and the community to remove the criminal elements that negatively impact our communities.”

According to the plea agreement, on August 2, 2020, a Tuscaloosa Police Officer attempted to conduct a lawful traffic stop on Jones.  Jones fled in his vehicle and led the police officer on a high-speed chase through several neighborhoods until reaching a dead-end street. Jones got out of the vehicle, and cash fell out onto the ground. Jones began picking up the cash and threw a small backpack on the ground in front of the vehicle. As Jones was picking up the cash, the police officer tackled him. Jones actively resisted the police officer’s attempts to arrest him, and the two struggled for several minutes. Jones retrieved a Glock .45 caliber pistol from the backpack he threw. The officer initially thought the firearm resembled a BB gun but was uncertain. Upon seeing Jones grab the item, the police officer knocked it out of Jones' hands. The struggle continued. Jones ultimately complied. Multiple Tuscaloosa Police Officers arrived on scene to assist and took Jones into custody. Officers located the firearm and learned that it was not a BB gun, but was a Glock .45 caliber pistol. The pistol was equipped with a rifle conversion kit and was loaded with a high-capacity magazine with one round in the chamber. The officers seized approximately 594 grams of marijuana and $1,105 in cash.

ATF investigated the case, along with the Tuscaloosa Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Brittney Plyler prosecuted the case. 

Updated January 27, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses