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FERRIDAY MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE, ANOTHER 275 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR TRANSPORTING METH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2013

ALEXANDRIA, La. United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Maurice T. Smith, 32, and Chavo T. Thomas, 30, both of Ferriday, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell. Smith received lifetime in prison, and Thomas received 275 months in prison and 10 years of supervised release for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.  A jury found the defendants guilty May 31, 2013.

According to evidence and testimony presented at trial, the defendants were found to have conspired to deliver methamphetamine from California to Ferriday.  Smith organized the trip, and Thomas traveled to California to purchase and bring back the illegal drugs. Thomas was arrested on Oct. 28, 2011, at a Brookhaven, Miss., train station with two pounds of pure methamphetamine. Smith was arrested later in Ferriday.

“We commend the work of the law enforcement agencies who investigated this case,” Finley stated.  “They were able to stop this shipment of illegal drugs before it could be sold in the Western District of Louisiana.  I also want to thank the prosecutors who tried this case.  My office will continue to prosecute these types of cases to the fullest extent of the law.”

“This investigation clearly demonstrates the growing strength of the Central Louisiana OCDETF partnership and its significant impact on the methamphetamine threat to our communities,” stated Michael J. Anderson, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge, New Orleans Division.

Smith and Thomas were arrested as part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation “Delta Blues” investigation.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation Central Louisiana Safe Streets Task Force, which is composed of the Louisiana State Police, Louisiana Department of Probation and Parole, Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Alexandria Police Department, participated in the investigation. The U.S. Marshals and the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office also participated in the investigation. The Southwest Mississippi Narcotics Task Force, Brookhaven (Mississippi) Police Department and the Lincoln County (Mississippi) Sheriff’s Office assisted in the defendants’ arrest.

The OCDETF program is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James G. Cowles Jr. prosecuted the case.


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