BEAUMONT– The owner of Jake’s Fireworks has been sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.
Jake Ellis Daughtry, 35, of Nederland, pleaded guilty on Jan. 18, 2022, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a date rape drug over the internet to an unauthorized purchaser. Daughtry was sentenced to 180 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield.
According to information presented in court, Jake Daughtry was the owner and operator of Right Price Chemicals, a business located in Nederland that sold chemicals nationwide. An 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 (also known as the date-rape drug) with the same effects, causing potential overdoses, addiction, and death. At least two people died after consuming BDO sold by Right Price Chemicals. Toxicology analysis determined that a GHB overdose was the cause of death in each case. Additionally, investigators found two additional victims who injured themselves after overdosing on BDO sold by Right Price Chemicals. Nearly 90 percent of the BDO Right Price Chemicals sold went to residential addresses.
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. Daughtry and several members of his family who worked for him, were indicted by a federal grand jury on June 3, 2020.
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 was 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 was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Rapp, Donald Carter and Robert Wells.