BEAUMONT, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin man has pleaded guilty in federal court to one of two charges connected to a kidnapping-for-hire plot.
Attorney Al Charanza said Jason McLaughlin, 47, pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit a crime of violence. Charanza said the US Attorney's Office has agreed to dismiss a second charge of transfer of a firearm to a prohibited person. McLaughlin is entering the plea without any kind of plea agreement and faces up to 20 years in prison.
Authorities say McLaughlin hired someone to kidnap a man and bring him from Louisiana to Texas. Once here in Texas, McLaughlin had plans to kill the kidnapped man himself, according to his initial arrest affidavit.
The alleged victim would have been McLaughlin's ex-wife's current boyfriend.
Before his arrest, McLaughlin owned and ran The Thrifty Book Nut books store on Chestnut Drive in Lufkin.
McLaughlin entered the plea Wednesday afternoon in Judge Zack Hawthorn's court.