A felon pleaded guilty Thursday in a federal case involving the robbery of a law enforcement informant of “buy” money during a firearm and crack cocaine deal.
Rayfield “Simon” Vaughn Jr., 31, and Destin Dominique Johnson, 27, had been targeted in an undercover probe that involved the use of the informant, buy money and recorded phone calls to discuss the transactions, according to a federal agent’s statements.
A federal grand jury indicted Vaughn and Johnson on three firearms charges. Vaughn pleaded guilty Thursday to one of the charges. Johnson had pleaded guilty to one charge in November.
Both men are facing up to 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and up to $250,000 in fines.
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Vaughn’s sentencing is set for June 8 in U.S. District Court. Johnson’s sentencing is set next week, though his attorney has asked for the sentencing to be postponed.
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had launched an investigation into Vaughn’s activities in early March 2016 in Gulfport.
Vaughn and Johnson were taken into custody in June.
Vaughn and an informant started discussing the sale of a Ruger Redhawk .44-caliber revolver with an attached scope that Vaughn estimated to be worth $2,100. The informant offered to buy the weapon for $450, and asked Vaughn if he could also buy some crack.
Vaughn’s girlfriend and their son were with him and Johnson in a pickup truck when he met the informant near Pass Christian to sell him the gun, an agent said. While there, Vaughn called someone, who drove up and handed him a gram of crack to sell for $100. But then Johnson pulled a gun and robbed the informant and drove away.
A Harrison County deputy stopped the truck a short time later.
Johnson told the agent he had thrown a .380-caliber pistol out of a car window because the men realized they were being followed.
At the time of the arrests, Vaughn was on probation on two counts of delivery of a controlled substance. Johnson was on probation on charges of mayhem, which is a crime that results in the mutilation or disfigurement of a person’s limb or other body part.