Darlington Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy and Firearm Charge in Federal Court
Contact Person: Lance Crick (864) 282-2105
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake announced today that Justin Martin Jackson, age 29, of Darlington, South Carolina, pled guilty yesterday in federal court in Florence to drug conspiracy and firearms charges. Specifically, Jackson pled guilty to three counts: conspiracy to violate the drug laws of the United States, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371; using a communication device to facilitate the commission of a felony under the Controlled Substances Act, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 843(b); and, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(ii)(A). United States District Judge Bruce H. Hendricks of Charleston, accepted the plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed a presentence investigation report which will be prepared by the United States Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea established that, in 2005, the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in cooperation with the Pee Dee Violent Crimes Task Force, began an investigation into cocaine and cocaine-base distribution activities in the Hartsville area. As part of that investigation, in February 2015, Jackson was found in possession of a quantity of ethylone (a drug also known as MDMA or “Molly”) during a traffic stop. In December 2015, Jackson was arrested at a home in Darlington on a federal arrest warrant. At that home, law enforcement found three firearms, over a kilogram of powder cocaine, and 54 grams of cocaine-base in the home. Officers also recovered two cellular telephones, which Jackson had used in December 2015 to transact illegal drug activity.
Ms. Drake stated that the defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of life in prison.
The case was investigated by agents of the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Pee Dee Violent Crimes Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Chris Taylor of the Florence office handled the case.