The Port Arthur News
A 34-year-old Beaumont man has pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking crimes in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.
Edward Charles Crathin pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and felon in possession of a firearm Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Ron Clark.
According to information presented in court, on Aug. 2, 2012, law enforcement officers executed a narcotics search warrant at Crathin’s residence on Ives Street in Beaumont. SWAT team officers initiated an explosive breaching device to open the front door of the residence after which multiple gunshots were fired upon the officers causing them to take cover. Crathin and another person fled the house from the rear and Crathin was located hiding in a residence on Elder Street. A search of Crathin’s residence revealed about eight spent shell casings, a loaded assault rifle, and three pistols, one of which had been reported stolen by Lake Charles, LA police. Officers also found 12.48 grams of crack cocaine, 49.57 grams of cocaine, and drug manufacturing equipment. Further investigation revealed Crathin to be a convicted felon, having three convictions for possession of a controlled substance (once in 2008 and twice in 1998) and evading arrest with a motor vehicle in 2008. It is a violation of federal law for a convicted felon to own or possess a firearm 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. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
Crathin faces up to 20 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set.