Seattle – Two men – both involved with firearms and fentanyl -- pleaded guilty this week in U.S. District Court in Seattle to federal charges that carry a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Jade Alexander Beavin, 33, of Everett will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones on October 20,2023. Lavonta Austin, 30, of Seattle will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge James L. Robart on October 17, 2023.
“Our office and our investigative partners work every day to stop the flow of fentanyl into our community,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Gorman. “We pursue large cartel-connected drug rings that import hundreds of thousands of pills, as well as individual dealers whose criminal conduct with guns and drugs undermines the safety of our community. These two defendants who pleaded guilty this week, were caught repeatedly with drugs and guns, conduct that ultimately landed them in federal court.”
Jade Beavin was arrested by Everett Police on July 27, 2021, with three kilos of fentanyl powder in the trunk of his car. In the interior of the car was a loaded 9mm handgun. A court authorized search of the car also resulted in the seizure of a scale, ammunition, and drug ledger. Beavin was also arrested with narcotics and a revolver in January 2020 and was arrested with a third firearm in February 2022. When he is sentenced, prosecutors will recommend no more than ten years in prison and the defense has agreed to recommend no less than eight years in prison.
Lavonta Austin was first contacted by Seattle Police at 3rd Avenue and Pike Street in downtown Seattle on August 4, 2022. After selling fentanyl pills to an undercover officer, Austin attempted to run from police when they took him into custody. Austin had methamphetamine, fentanyl, more than $2,000 in cash and a loaded 45 caliber handgun. A few months later, on October 9, 2022, Austin was arrested at a Seattle motel with fentanyl, methamphetamine, $1,770 in cash and a loaded 9mm handgun. Both the prosecutors and defense will recommend a 5-year sentence.
In both cases the judge is not bound by the recommendation and can impose any sentence allowed by law.
Both men pleaded guilty to possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The drug possession charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The gun crime is punishable by a mandatory minimum five years in prison that runs consecutive to the sentence imposed on the drug possession charge.
U.S. v. Beavin was investigated by the Everett Police Department and the FBI. U.S. v. Austin was investigated by the Seattle Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Both cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cecelia Gregson.