MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING AND USE OF A FIREARM IN FURTHERANCE OF DRUG TRAFFICKING
FELTON WEST, age 23, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was sentenced today to15 years in prison by U. S. District Court Judge Stanwood Duval, Jr., after pleading guilty last year 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, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten. In addition to the term of imprisonment, Judge Duval ordered that WEST be placed on five (5) years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment, during which time the defendant will be under federal supervision and risks an additional term of imprisonment should he violate any terms of his supervised release.
According to the court documents, in the year 2009, WEST was part of a large scale drug distribution network rooted in the B.W. Cooper public housing complex. WEST and a team of associates led by WILLIAM STEVENSON distributed 25 gram bundles of heroin in the B.W. Cooper housing project on a daily basis. WEST and a number of his associate distributors also purchased firearms and possessed firearms for protection from those who would try to steal their bundles of heroin or the money they made from selling heroin. Prior to his arrest on federal charges, WEST had acquired three separate Orleans Parish arrests in 2009, one for gun possession and two for heroin distribution. WEST admitted responsibility for distributing at least 1 kilogram of heroin and possessing a .45 caliber firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking.
The case was investigated by DEA in collaboration with the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Task Force (HIDTA) and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). 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.
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. The NOPD/DEA HIDTA group consists of 6 NOPD detectives and 4 DEA agents. Unlike any other DEA group in the region, the HIDTA group works exclusively in Orleans Parish.
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.
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