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Operation Road Block Members of Drug Organization Indicted

JUN 26 (BATON ROUGE, La.) – Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge Joseph Shepherd and United States Attorney Walt Green announced today the unsealing of a federal grand jury indictment in Operation Road Block, an extensive investigation into a drug trafficking network operating in the Baton Rouge region.

The investigation is another effort by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program which was established in 1982 to mount a comprehensive attack against organized drug traffickers. Today, the OCDETF Program is the centerpiece of the United States Attorney General’s drug strategy to reduce the availability of drugs by disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations and money laundering organizations and related criminal enterprises. The OCDETF Program operates nationwide and combines the resources and unique expertise of numerous federal, state, and local agencies in a coordinated attack against major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.

The following eight individuals have been charged:

  • Wilbert Mathes, 38, of Zachary, Louisiana, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; distribution of cocaine; possession of firearms by a convicted felon; unlawful use of a communications facility; and forfeiture. If convicted, Mathes faces a mandatory minimum of five years and up to 86 years imprisonment, four years of supervised release following imprisonment, forfeiture of criminal proceeds and property used to facilitate his crimes, and a $7,250,000 fine. He has been arrested and is detained pending trial.
  • Joell Leggins, 39, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; distribution of cocaine; possession with the intent to distribute cocaine; unlawful use of a communications facility; and forfeiture. If convicted, Leggins faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to 156 years imprisonment, four years of supervised release following imprisonment, forfeiture of criminal proceeds and property used to facilitate his crimes, and a $14,250,000 fine. He is currently a fugitive.
  • Marcus Thornton, 38, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; distribution of cocaine; unlawful use of a communications facility; and forfeiture. If convicted, Thornton faces a mandatory minimum of five years and up to 64 years imprisonment, four years of supervised release following imprisonment, forfeiture of criminal proceeds and property used to facilitate his crimes, and a $7,250,000 fine.  He is currently incarcerated on unrelated state charges and will be transported to federal court for his initial appearance at a later date.
  • Damond Reynard Lockett, 40, of Port Allen, Louisiana, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; possession with the intent to distribute cocaine; unlawful use of a communications facility; and forfeiture. If convicted, Lockett faces a mandatory minimum of five years and up to 68 years imprisonment, four years of supervised release following imprisonment, forfeiture of criminal proceeds and property used to facilitate his crimes, and a $6,500,000 fine. He has been arrested and is detained pending trial.
  • Lamont Jackson, 39, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; unlawful use of a communications facility; and forfeiture. If convicted, Jackson faces a possible sentence of 32 years imprisonment, four years of supervised release following imprisonment, forfeiture of criminal proceeds and property used to facilitate his crimes, and a $1,750,000 fine. He has been arrested and is under pretrial supervision pending trial.
  • Broderick D. Mathes, 37, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; possession with the intent to distribute cocaine; possession of firearms by a convicted felon; unlawful use of a communications facility; and forfeiture. If convicted, Mathes faces a mandatory minimum of five years and up to 80 years imprisonment, four years of supervised release following imprisonment, forfeiture of criminal proceeds and property used to facilitate his crimes, and a $7,000,000 fine.  He has been arrested and is detained pending trial.
  • Robert Williams, 37, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; and forfeiture. If convicted, Williams faces a possible sentence of 20 years imprisonment, three years of supervised release following imprisonment, forfeiture of criminal proceeds and property used to facilitate his crimes, and a $1,000,000 fine. He has been arrested and is under pretrial supervision pending trial.
  • Caprice Morgan, 28, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is charged with misprision of a felony. If convicted, Morgan faces a possible sentence of three years imprisonment, one year of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine. She has been arrested and is under pretrial supervision pending trial. 

Joseph Shepherd, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, stated “This operation is the result of a successful collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement to pursue justice.  This indictment should serve as a reminder that DEA, along with its partners, remains deeply committed to aggressively and swiftly pursuing those who violate the federal drug laws.”

U.S. Attorney Green stated: “This indictment continues our battle against the drug trafficking organizations that plague our community. We will continue to work closely with our federal, state, and local partners to take drug dealers off the streets of Baton Rouge. I greatly appreciate the hardworking team of agents and prosecutors who contributed to this important operation.”

This operation is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Baton Rouge City Police Department, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana State Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Kleinpeter who serves as a Deputy Chief in the Criminal Division.

NOTE: An indictment is an accusation by the Grand Jury. The defendants are presumed innocent until and unless adjudicated guilty at trial or through a guilty plea.
 
Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.  


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