News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 02, 2010
Contact: Special Agent Roberto Bryan
Number: (504) 840-1360

Fifteen Indicted on Federal Drug and Gun Charges

FEB 02 -- NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - Fifteen individuals were charged on January 29, 2010 by a federal grand jury sitting in New Orleans in a thirteen count superseding indictment with federal drug and firearms violations, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.  Specifically, LANDRY GRANDISON, CASSANDRA BATISTE, TROY POCHE,  residents of Houston, Texas; MICHAEL PINKNEY, WILLIAM STEVENSON; MARK ROSS; DEWAYNE COOPER; GENERIO ALLEN, FELTON WEST; KENNAIRE MATHIEU; JIMMY ISAAC; JERMAINE WILLIAMS; HOWARD LUMAR, JR.; ERROL HALL; and MICHAEL MINOR; all residents of New Orleans, were charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 1 kilogram or more of heroin and 500 grams or more of cocaine hydrochloride.  LUMAR, ROSS, STEVENSON, and GRANDISON were additionally charged with multiple counts of using a telephone in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  LUMAR, ROSS, COOPER, and STEVENSON were each charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking offense.

The Indictment returned today supersedes the one returned against GRANDISON, BATISTE, POCHE, WILLIAM STEVENSON, MARK ROSS, DEWAYNE COOPER, GENERIO ALLEN, FELTON WEST, KENNAIRE MATHIEU, and HOWARD LUMAR, JR. on December 11, 2009 by adding five new defendants, enlarging the scope of the conspiracy with additional narcotics, and adding federal gun charges against LUMAR, ROSS, COOPER, and STEVENSON.  LUMAR, ROSS, COOPER, and STEVENSON  were each charged with being felons in possession of firearms and possessing one or more  firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking offense.

The additional firearms violations are the result of 10 search warrants executed on December 16, 2009 by DEA Special Agents and multiple other local law enforcement agencies.

If convicted, the defendants face a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment and millions in fines, and up to five years of supervised release.  The trial in this case is scheduled for June 14, 2010 before Judge Stanwood Duvall.

Speaking to Friday’s superseding indictment, U. S. Attorney Jim Letten stated, “The successful investigation and indictment of these fifteen individuals on serious federal drug distribution and firearms charges is the direct result of citizen participation and information in support of law enforcement.  Specifically, following an informal meeting with citizens in the B. W. Cooper Housing Development, Assistant U. S. Attorney and Drug Unit Supervisor Maurice Landrieu and I were approached by citizens, who confidentially provided detailed information which ultimately led to the investigation and today’s indictment.  It is precisely this type of citizen participation and assistance which is essential in enabling our U. S. Attorney’s Office, DEA and other federal law enforcement partners to remove drug dealers and violent offenders from our streets, making them safer.” 

Special Agent in Charge Jimmy S. Fox III, Drug Enforcement Administration, said "This investigation is highly significant and resulted from an eight month probe conducted by the DEA in collaboration with the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Task Force (HIDTA) and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF)." 

          The HIDTA Task Force is led by DEA and includes a team of dedicated investigators from the New Orleans Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. OCDETF is an important program which targets the most significant drug trafficking organizations within the United States, as well as those outside of the United States borders that impact drug trafficking within the United States. Also assisting in the enforcement operations were the Louisiana State Police, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Kenner Police Department, and St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.