COLUMBIA, S.C. (WJBF) – 31-year-old Eric Rashun Jones has pleaded guilty to human trafficking conspiracy, felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and witness tampering.

According to the Department of Justice District of South Carolina, evidence for the human trafficking conspiracy conviction was presented in court. It showed that from August 2018 through November 2022, Jones worked together with at least one other person to prostitute women in the commercial sex trade by force, fraud, and coercion. 

The felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition conviction. It was presented in court with evidence Lexington County 911 received a call on June 25, 2019, from a victim who told law enforcement that Jones had forced her into prostitution, that he had confiscated proceeds, and that he had stolen her phone, money, and pistol. 

The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department responded and found Jones in a hotel room with two women, one of whom was partially undressed  Inside the hotel room was a Springfield 9mm handgun loaded with 6 rounds. Jones admitted to hiding the firearm under the mattress.  

The report says, federal law prohibited Jones from firearm possession as a result of prior felony convictions, including for strong arm robbery, common law robbery, and assault and battery 1st degree.

In the case with witness tampering, Jones called a woman involved with him in commercial sex and told her on a recorded jail call to “say nothing at all” to federal law enforcement, to “never say nothing,” to “ the police aint your family.”  Separately, over a five-day span, Jones called that victim 40 times and also told her he has “a third eye on the street,” and in a prior hearing it was alleged that he was a member of a street gang.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Jones agreed to pay victims restitution and to register as a sex offender. He also agreed to forfeit jewelry, U.S. currency, a firearm, and electronics used or purchased with proceeds of criminal conduct. 

Jones faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and faces a fine of up to $250,000 and lifetime supervision to follow a term of imprisonment.