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Lubbock man sentenced to 30 years for gun, drug crimes after firing at officers

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A Lubbock man who shot at police and then led them on a 115 mile-per-hour chase in Lamesa, Texas, was sentenced today to 30 years in federal prison for gun and drug crimes, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.

Zachary Jay Barfield, 28, pleaded guilty in April to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of discharge of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix.

On Nov. 4, 2020, Lamesa police officers attempted to stop a vehicle driven by Mr. Barfield, who was then a felon on parole with an active warrant for deadly conduct by discharging a firearm.  

According to plea papers, Mr. Barfield admitted that as law enforcement approached his vehicle shouting commands, he fired a gun at the officers and sped away. Travelling at more than 115 miles per hour, he headed toward County Road 8201, then turned onto an unpaved road and proceeded into a pasture, evading officers.

Shortly thereafter, law enforcement located the abandoned vehicle in a ditch in Andrews County, Texas. Inside, they found a 12 gauge shotgun, ammunition, and a fanny pack containing more than 40 grams of methamphetamine.  Nearby, they located a man who stated that he was seated in the backseat of the vehicle during the chase. He allegedly admitted he had been planning to purchase $20 worth of meth from the driver – Zachary Barfield – before law enforcement pulled the car over.

Law enforcement then dispatched a Department of Public Safety helicopter and a Texas Department of Criminal Justice bloodhound tracking canine to help locate Mr. Barfield. The following day, at 2:45 a.m., they located him and his girlfriend in a field roughly 8.4 miles from the abandoned car. The pair were laying on face-down on top of two Smith & Wesson guns: a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol and a .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol.

During an interview at the local sheriff’s office, Mr. Barfield waived his right to remain silent and admitted that he was a distributor of methamphetamine, and that he discharged a firearm in order to advance his distribution scheme.

The Lamesa Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Division, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Rancourt prosecuted the case.

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