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NORFOLK, Va. – A Suffolk man pleaded guilty today to possessing a firearm while an unlawful user of controlled substances and possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug-trafficking crimes.

According to court documents, Antonio Lamon Jefferson, Jr., 25, is a member of the Suffolk-based street gang YNGI. YNGI members have been involved in a string of recent shootings. Jefferson has been arrested three times since April 2019 for possessing more than five pounds of marijuana, a rifle, multiple handguns, and about $35,000 in cash. Jefferson has been arrested twice at residences he used as drug premises—storing, packaging, and selling marijuana, hoarding drug proceeds, and arming himself at those locations to protect his drug trade. At one residence, he was armed with a handgun that had been reported stolen.

Jefferson is scheduled to be sentenced on April 2, 2021. He faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of a renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Thomas E. Bennett, Chief of Suffolk Police; Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; and Col. K.L. Wright, Chief of Chesapeake Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:20-cr-65.

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