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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Father and Son Indicted On Gun and Drug Charges

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced today that PALMA JEFFERSON, SR. and PALMA JEFFERSON, JR., a father and son from the greater New Orleans area, were charged in a seven-count indictment by a Federal Grand Jury on August 29, 2019.  PALMA JEFFERSON, JR. was charged with possession with the intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana, along with possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.  Both father and son were charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

PALMA JEFFERSON, JR. is charged in Counts 1 and 2 with Possession with the Intent to Distribute 100 grams or more of Heroin and 500 grams or more of cocaine hydrochloride, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B)(i).  If convicted on these counts, PALMA JEFFERSON, JR. faces a term of imprisonment between 5 and 40 years, up to a $5,000,000 fine, and at least 4 years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.  PALMA JEFFERSON, JR. is charged in Count 3 with Possession with the Intent to Distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of Methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A)(viii).  If PALMA JEFFERSON, JR. is convicted on this count, he faces a term of imprisonment of 10 years up to life, a $10,000,000 fine, and at least 5 years supervised release.  PALMA JEFFERSON, JR. is charged in Count 4 with Possession with Intent to Distribute a quantity of Marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(D).  If convicted of this count, PALMA JEFFERSON, JR. faces a term of imprisonment of not more than 5 years, a fine of up to $250,000, and at least 2 years supervised release.  PALMA JEFFERSON, JR. is charged in Count 5 with Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A).  If convicted of this count, PALMA JEFFERSON, JR. faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years up to life imprisonment, along with a $250,000 fine and up to 5 years supervised release following any term of imprisonment.  This sentence must run consecutively to all other sentences imposed upon the defendant. 

PALMA JEFFERSON, JR. is charged in Count 6 and PALMA JEFFERSON, SR. is charged in Count 7 both with being felons in possession of firearms, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1).  If convicted on these counts, both defendants face a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and up to 3 years of supervised release.    

U. S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safe for everyone.  Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority.  In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, then Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN was launched in 2001.

The case was investigated by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New Orleans Gang Task Force.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Melissa Bücher of the Violent Crime/Strike Force Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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Updated September 5, 2019