Man pleads guilty to drug charges, could face life sentence

Released by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Texas:

TYLER, TX - U.S. Attorney John M. Bales has announced that a 26-year-old Palestine man has pleaded guilty to federal drug violations in the Eastern District of Texas.

Byron Bernard Billups pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love.

According to information presented in court, on Sept. 1, 2007, Billups and co-defendant, Justin Smith, were transporting 248 grams of crack cocaine and 221 grams of cocaine from Dallas to East Texas for distribution when they were stopped in Kemp, Texas. An investigation revealed that Billups and Smith conspired with others to distribute cocaine through East Texas from an unknown date until January 2009.

Billups faces up to Life in federal prison at sentencing.  A sentencing date has not yet been set.  Smith has already pleaded guilty to the same charges and is also awaiting sentencing.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Baldwin.