FEDERAL JURY RETURNS GUILTY VERDICT ON FIREARMS AND DRUG CHARGES FOR MEMBERS OF LOCAL STREET GANG NAMED 3
DALTON BENNETT, a/k/a “D”, age 39, LANCE BENNETT, age 22, and DANQUELL MILLER, a/k/a “Queezy, a/k/a “Quee”, age 28, all residents of New Orleans, were convicted today by a federal jury sitting in New Orleans of participating in a conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine and a quantity of marijuana, a conspiracy to obstruct justice, and other drug and firearms offenses, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
During the trial, which started on Tuesday June 1, 2010, the Government presented evidence that all three defendants were members of a group called 3-N-G which refers to the area of the city where they sold drugs. Witnesses stated that 3-N-G was an acronym for the Third and Galvez. This corner has been known to be a high crime area in the New Orleans Police 6th District for several years.
The jury found that DALTON BENNETT was guilty of possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. During the trial, NOPD officers testified that they conducted a traffic stop on a Nissan Titan pickup truck which was driven by DALTON BENNETT with DANQUELL MILLER as the passenger. A drug dog alerted on a hidden compartment behind the radio on the front dashboard. The police pulled back the dashboard and located 28 grams of crack and a .40 caliber firearm. The police also found DALTON BENNETT to be in possession of $2,419.00 in cash in his pocket.
When DALTON BENNETT was placed in Orleans Parish Prison, he used the telephone to call his brother, LANCE BENNETT. While on the phone, DALTON BENNETT asked LANCE BENNETT to go to a local attorney’s office and sign a false affidavit stating that the drugs and gun belonged to him. DALTON BENNETT told LANCE that he needed to go “take the charge” before federal authorities charged him with federal violations. He also told DANQUELL MILLER, who was not initially arrested, to tell LANCE BENNETT what was in the secret compartment so that his affidavit would be factually correct. LANCE BENNETT went to the attorney’s office and signed an affidavit attesting to his ownership of the gun and drugs. This affidavit was introduced into evidence during the trial.
The Government also introduced numerous telephone recordings from LANCE BENNETT, who was arrested on state firearms charges, which proved that he had his girlfriend selling crack cocaine out on the street around Third and Galvez.
Based on the jury verdict, both DALTON BENNETT and LANCE BENNETT will face a mandatory life sentence and DANQUELL MILLER will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years up to a possible life sentence. Sentencing is scheduled for September 8, 2010 at 9:00 A.M.
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Officers of the New Orleans Police Department. This matter was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Maurice E. Landrieu, Jr. and Brian Capitelli.
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