EAST TEXAS (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis sentenced
four defendants Thursday to serve federal prison terms in the Eastern
District of Texas.
Frankie Darrell Durant, 50, received a four-and-a-half-year sentence after he pleaded guilty on Jan. 8 to being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to a news release.
According to information presented in court, on July 26, three firearms were located in a storage room in Smith County, which Durant was renting, the release stated.
Further investigation revealed Durant was a convicted felon having been previously found guilty of possession of a controlled substance, according to the release. As a convicted felon, Durant is prohibited by federal law from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition.
This case was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition and body armor and improving the safety of residents in the Eastern District of Texas, the release stated. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations, as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
The Texas Department of Public Safety investigated the case, and it was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Ann Cozby.
According to information presented in court, on March 19, Jacobs gave Daniel Kubisty $3,000 to burn down the Add-Life Recovery Center, a methadone clinic in a building at 3322 E. Fifth St. in Tyler, the news release stated.
Jacobs and Kubisty conspired to burn down the building in order to gain a competitive advantage for the Methadone Clinic of East Texas, which was owned by Jacobs and also had an office in Tyler, according to the release.
On March 19, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested Kubisty in Tyler. He was found to have a gasoline can with a wick saturated in gasoline protruding from its neck in the back of his pickup, according to the release.
After Kubisty's arrest, Jacobs feared Kubisty would testify against him, and, on June 1, he arranged a meeting with a man he believed he could hire to kill Kubisty to prevent Kubisty's testimony, the release stated. During the meeting, Jacobs offered to pay the hit man $12,000 for Kubisty's murder. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was monitoring the meeting and arrested Jacobs at the scene, according to the release.
Kubisty pleaded guilty to attempted arson on Jan. 19 and is awaiting sentencing.
Reginald Lavann Eastern, 44, of San Bernardino, Calif., pleaded guilty on Aug. 30 to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in federal prison, according to a news release.
According to information presented in court, on March 4, Eastern was in possession of approximately 1 kilogram of cocaine which he intended to deliver to others in the Eastern District of Texas, the news release stated.
The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the accident, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Baldwin prosecuted it.
Brett Bates, 49, received a 10-year sentence after he pleaded guilty on March 14 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, according to a press release.
According to information presented in court, up until May 27, 2011, Bates conspired with other individuals to acquire and distribute methamphetamine in Gregg County in the Eastern District of Texas. Bates admitted to being responsible for the distribution of more than 150 grams of methamphetamine during this time, the release stated.
Five of Bates' co-defendants also have been sentenced. Terri Rhea Young received a two-year sentence on July 23. David Christopher Wheeler and Raelene Dawn Ferguson were each sentenced to three-and-a-half years in federal prison on July 20. Matthew Dean Willis was sentenced to one year and three months in federal prison on June 12, and Harold Burgess Dickens received a 17-and-a-half-year sentence on Jan. 10.