Attorney: More could be indicted in case involving fireworks stand raid

Published 12:30 am Thursday, July 22, 2021

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BEAUMONT — An assistant U.S. district attorney said at least two more suspects could be indicted in the coming weeks in the case involving the raid of a Nederland fireworks stand.

Michelle Englade, Assistant United States Attorney, told U.S. District Court Judge Thad Heartfield Wednesday that more charges and indictments are likely looming.

When Heartfield asked for more details, Englade said “at least two people” who have not been charged could be indicted by the first week of August.

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No other information about the potential charges was available.

On July 15, 2020, law enforcement agencies searched Jake’s Fireworks and Right Price Chemicals, which is owned by Jake Daughtry and operated out of the fireworks shop on Twin City Highway near Spurlock Road. Following the raid, the U.S. government released indictments for nine suspects on allegations that Daughtry and the other defendants knowingly distributed 1,4 butanediol for human consumption. The chemical is more commonly referred to as BDO.

Daughtry, along with his parents Joseph Daughtry and Sandra Daughtry, were indicted on counts of drug trafficking and money laundering after the raid.

Employees Jordan Lee King, Austin Dial, Tanner Jorgensen; all of Nederland; Kip Daughtry, of Vidor, and Jesse Hackett, of The Woodlands, were also arrested and charged. Joshua Wisneant was arrested in connection with the case.

During Wednesday’s status conference, Heartfield asked the defense attorneys and prosecution get together to talk about the exchange of evidence.

Englade said there are approximately 900,000 pages of evidence that can take two to three weeks to download.

The prosecutor said the defense attorneys have more evidence than she does. Ryan Gertz, one of the defense attorneys for the Daughtrys, said he received his 5-terabyte drive of evidence two days ago.

Englade said she received drives from other attorneys within the past week and hasn’t received drives from several others.

Heartfield told the lawyers they should meet by next week and file motions to compel within the next month. If council for both parties fail to do that, the judge said the attorneys will meet back in the courtroom in the coming weeks for public mediation.

The court is also considering a gag order so that the case will not be “tried through the media.”

Jury selection is expected to begin in September and Englade said the trial would take “at least three weeks,” due to the amount of evidence and 55 witnesses.