U.S. Attorney's Office/Eastern District of Texas:
TYLER (KYTX) – A 40-year-old Tyler, Texas man has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Christopher Florence pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith K. Guthrie.
According to information presented in court, on Jan. 27, 2011, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at a residence on County road 141 in Overton, Rusk County, Texas during which Florence was observed attempting to discard a semi-automatic pistol, $1,757 in cash and approximately 6.16 grams of cocaine base in the yard of the residence. Florence admitted to possessing the cocaine with the intent to distribute it to others in the area. Florence was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sep. 15, 2011.
Florence faces up to 20 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set. A co-defendant, Don Paul Haynes, was sentenced to time served on Mar. 21, 2012. Another co-defendant, Francie Irene Jernigan-Haynes, was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison on Apr. 13, 2012.
This case is being investigated by the Rusk County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Noble.