The second of four men indicted after a package containing almost 11 pounds of marijuana was mailed to Henrico County last year has entered a guilty plea.
The scheme allegedly ran from last September to November with multiple packages mailed from Oregon, which legalized sales of marijuana for recreational use in 2015.
Elliott James Eggborn, 25, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to possess and distribute marijuana and with using a communication facility to facilitate drug trafficking. He faces up to nine years in prison when sentenced Oct. 9 by U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr.
The others are: Christopher Neil Gilman, 25, charged with conspiracy, possession with the intent to distribute marijuana and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine; Dustin Schoenbaum, 26, conspiracy to distribute marijuana and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute; and Nicholas Jordan Baker, 25, conspiracy, use of a communication facility.
When arrested, Eggborn, Gilman and Schoenbaum were living in Richmond and Baker in Henrico County.
According to court documents, prior to last Nov. 9, postal authorities noticed several packages mailed from Oregon to an address in the 8600 block of Sedgemoor Drive in Henrico.
“For the agents, the size of the packages, along with the fact that the packages contained hand-written address labels, had sender and receiver names that had no association with the address, and that the packages all derived from Oregon — a state from which marijuana is often shipped — raised suspicion that the packages contained marijuana,” according to the statement.
Investigators said that on Nov. 9 a narcotics-detecting dog alerted on a package shipped to the Sedgemoor Drive address. A search warrant was obtained, and when opened, the package was found to contain 4,872 grams of marijuana.
A “controlled delivery” was performed to the address and Baker was seen picking the package up off the front porch, placing it in his truck and attempting to drive off when he was apprehended. He initially denied knowing marijuana was inside the package and while police spoke with Baker, Eggborn made multiple unanswered calls to Baker’s phone.
Baker pleaded guilty June 22 to using a communication facility to facilitate a drug trafficking crime and faces up to four years when sentenced by Gibney on Oct. 5.
According to a statement of facts signed by Eggborn, he admitted he had arranged with Baker to pick up and deliver “multiple additional packages that came to the Sedgemoor address through the U.S. Mail from Oregon in or around June, July, and September 2017 and that contained marijuana.”
Baker was paid a portion of the marijuana for his services, Eggborn admitted.
A search warrant was used to search a home in the 700 block of Catherine Street, in Richmond, where Eggborn, Gilman and Schoenbaum lived. Each of the residents of that address, authorities allege, was involved in purchasing and distributing marijuana.
The search found “several ounces of marijuana, large quantities of cash, and firearms in each of the three bedrooms belonging to the three residents.” Cocaine was allegedly found in Gilman’s bedroom.