An Ohio man pleaded guilty on Monday to federal gun and drug crimes related to a shootout in West Virginia in 2021.
Austin Bruce Jeffreys, 28, of Chesapeake, Ohio admitted to using and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, and conspiracy to using and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.
Jeffreys, according to court documents and statements made in court on June 14, 2021, communicated with an inmate at the Western Regional Jail by phone, and each time, the calls were recorded.
The U.S. Department of Justice said in a press release that when Jeffreys spoke to the inmate, he agreed to go to a residence in Huntington to pick up the inmate’s suboxone.
At the time, the suboxone was with another person, so Jeffreys said he would go to the residence carrying a loaded .380-caliber pistol.
When Jeffreys arrived at the residence, the DOJ said, he and another person got into a shootout before Jeffreys could get the drugs.
Jeffreys then called the inmate, once again on a recorded line, and spoke about the shooting and his knowledge of the drugs being intended for distribution, the DOJ said.
Jeffreys is expected to be sentenced on Feb. 13, 2022, and faces up to life in prison and a $500,000 fine.
The inmate, Jacob Benjamin Loper, 21, was sentenced to 30 months in prison on May 9, 2022, after pleading guilty to attempted possession with intent to distribute the suboxone and conspiring to use a firearm in a drug trafficking crime.