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Suffolk man pleads guilty to firearm charges

A Suffolk man pleaded guilty Dec. 14 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, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

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.

U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. accepted the plea.