BEAUMONT, Texas – Two Jake’s Fireworks defendants, including the owner of the Nederland business, have pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.
Jake Ellis Daughtry, 35, of Nederland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a date rape drug over the internet to an unauthorized purchaser. Kip William Daughtry, 48, of Vidor, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance analogue.
According to information presented in court, Jake Daughtry and Kip Daughtry are the leaders of a Chemical Trafficking Organization (“CTO”) cell operating on a national scale. Investigation of the organization began in 2018 when DEA West Palm Beach, Florida intercepted mail parcels of a chemical identified as 1,4 butanediol, commonly referred to as “BDO.” BDO is a chemical manufactured only for industrial or laboratory use as a floor stripper or vehicle wheel cleaner and is not intended for human consumption. Investigators determined that when BDO is ingested, it immediately metabolizes into GHB (a known date-rape drug) with the same effects, causing potential overdoses, addiction, and death.
DEA traced the seized parcels to their origination point, Right Price Chemicals, a business located on Twin City Highway in Nederland, Texas, and owned by Jake Daughtry. A seasonal fireworks business called “Jake’s Fireworks” is also operated at that location. Customers from all over the United States were able to order quantities of BDO from the Right Price Chemicals website in small amounts to use for personal consumption. The Daughtry’s continued to sell BDO even after becoming aware that some customers were ingesting the substance for its’ narcotic effect, rather than using it for its intended commercial purpose. Agents determined that since 2016, Right Price Chemicals has distributed approximately 7,000 gallons of BDO over thousands of orders, and that those sales generated $4.5 million.
The defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury on June 3, 2020 and face up to 20 years in federal prison. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
In addition, Jake Daughtry, Joe Daughtry, Sandra Daughtry, and Kip Daughtry agreed to the entry of a permanent injunction that prohibits them, or Right Price Chemicals, to ever sell or distribute BDO to anyone, anywhere, at any point in the future.
“After being notified by Florida law enforcement that this dangerous and lethal chemical was being sold to users for a nefarious purpose, East Texas law enforcement agencies took action to protect the public and prevent others from falling prey to the sale and use of this dangerous substance,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “This was a complicated investigation involving numerous investigative agencies and both the criminal and civil divisions of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Their collaborative efforts have made our community and country a safer place to live.”
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration West Palm Beach, Florida, and Beaumont; U.S. Postal Service; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Essential support and coordination was provided by numerous components of DEA headquarters and the Department of Justice’s multi-agency Special Operations Division (SOD). This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Rapp, Donald Carter and Robert Wells.