LYNCHBURG, Va. (WRIC) — A Salem man who was reportedly involved in a shootout during a methamphetamine deal in Lynchburg in 2021 has pleaded guilty to two federal charges.
According to the United States Department of Justice, 42-year-old Jeriwon Lee Taylor pleaded guilty to one count of distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and one count of possessing and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to court documents, Taylor arranged to meet Kendall Simonton in the parking lot of a Walmart in Lynchburg to sell him meth on Nov. 21, 2021. Simonton arrived at the meeting spot and got into Taylor’s vehicle, where he put a gun in Taylor’s face and robbed him of his drugs.
Simonton got out of Taylor’s vehicle and began to walk away, when Taylor got out as well and took out a firearm. Taylor and Simonton fired several rounds at each other, ducking behind parked cars. Simonton eventually ran out of the parking lot and Taylor got back into car and drove away.
“It is clear that drug traffickers have no respect for human lives and conduct criminal business in the open public, disregarding the damage they can cause to human life or property,” said Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Washington Division. “Thanks to the combined efforts of our local law enforcement partners, subsequent search warrants were executed at locations associated with Taylor’s drug trafficking organization that resulted in the seizure of fentanyl, heroin, fake pills, methamphetamine and the retrieval of the firearm used in the shooting. We will continue our efforts aimed at disrupting and stopping these illegal endeavors.”
Taylor is facing at least 20 years in federal prison, he is scheduled to be sentenced on June 8.