NEW ORLEANS, LA. – DEWAYNE COOPER, age 38, LEONARD WHITE, age 33, CHARLES WADE, age 30, GENERIO ALLEN, age 26, all residents of New Orleans, La and CASSANDRA BATISTE, age 41, a resident of Houston, Texas pled guilty today in federal court before U. S. District Judge Stanwood Duval to participating in a conspiracy to distribute drugs, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to court documents, COOPER, BATISTE, WADE and ALLEN pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 1 kilogram or more of heroin and 500 grams or more of cocaine hydrochloride. They admitted that they participated in a conspiracy, which existed in 2009, involving heroin trafficking activities of co-defendant William Stevenson and multiple retail distributors he supplied with “bundles” of heroin for daily distribution in B.W. Cooper Housing Development. COOPER additionally pled guilty to having one prior felony drug conviction. WHITE pled guilty to a superseding bill of information admitting that he participated in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine hydrochloride.
Co-defendants Stevenson, Landry Grandison, Troy Poche, Mark Ross, Howard Lumar, Jr., Jermaine Williams, Errol Hall, Michael Minor, and Michael Pinkney previously pled guilty to drug and/or gun violations and are awaiting sentencing. Jimmy Isaac also pled guilty and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. Co-defendants Felton West, Kennaire Mathieu, Ernest Trosclair, Alvin Barnes, and Robert Johnson are scheduled for trial on July 25, 2011 before Judge Duval. Kevin Tyler is currently a fugitive and Theodore Pierce was recently murdered.
BATISTE, WADE and ALLEN face a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, $4 million in fines, and five (5) years supervised release. They are scheduled to be sentenced on June 8, 2011. COOPER faces a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, $8 million in fines, and ten (10) years supervised release. WHITE faces a minimum of 5 years to 40 years in prison, a $2 million fine, and at least 4 years supervised release following imprisonment. COOPER and WHITE are scheduled to be sentenced on July 6, 2011.
The case was investigated by Special Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration 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, the United States Internal Revenue Service, and the Department for Housing and Urban Development-OIG.