SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A man from Clay, N.Y. pled guilty on Friday, May 5, to federal gun and drug charges including fleeing law enforcement officers in two high-speed car chases.

30-year-old Eugene Gilbert of Clay, New York, pled guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, and possession of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime.

Gilbert admitted as part of his plea that he was distributing fentanyl on four separate instances between October 14, 2021, and November 2, 2021.

He also admitted to leading DEA Special Agents and other law enforcement officers on a high-speed car chase on Interstate 81 on November 4, 2021, as they attempted to execute search warrants on his vehicle, himself and his residence in Clay.

According to United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division, pursuing agents broke off the chase for reasons of public safety near Parish, New York.

Later on the same day, Gilbert’s Dodge Ram pickup truck was discovered abandoned near the Village of Parish. In a nearby dumpster, DEA Special Agents recovered a bag containing 50 grams of cocaine, 39 grams of cocaine base, 6 grams of fentanyl and a loaded 9mm pistol that Gilbert had left.

Gilbert was later arrested on December 17, 2021, after leading a United States Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force on another car chase through Syracuse and Dewitt on Interstate 81.

Gilbert’s sentencing is scheduled for September 13, 2023, in Syracuse, New York, at which time he faces the following:

  • Maximum sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment for his distribution and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.
  • 5-year mandatory consecutive sentence for his possession of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime, a maximum fine of $1,000,000.00.
  • Post-prison term of supervised release of at least 3 years and up to life.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, the Syracuse Police Department, and the Metro-Jefferson Drug Task Force, assisted by the U.S. Border Patrol, the New York State Police, and the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Southwick is prosecuting the case.