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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 27, 2020

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Man for Gun and Drug Offenses

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that JAMAL SMITH, age 31, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was charged on July 24, 2020 in a six-count indictment by a Federal Grand Jury for violations of the Federal Gun Control Act and the Federal Controlled Substances Act.

SMITH is charged in Counts 1 and 4 with possession with  intent to distribute a quantity of marijuana, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(D).  In Counts 2 and 5, SMITH is charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1)(A).  In Counts 3 and 6, SMITH is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1).

If convicted of Counts 1 and 4, SMITH faces a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, up to 2 years of supervised release, and a special assessment fee of $100.  If convicted of Counts 2 and 5, SMITH faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years up to life imprisonment for each count, which is to run consecutively to all other sentences, a $250,000 fine, up to 5 years of supervised release and a special assessment fee of $100.  If convicted of Counts 3 and 6, SMITH faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a $250,000 fine, up to 3 years of supervised release, and a special assessment fee of $100.

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

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.  Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.  The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from the following Project Guardian partners: the New Orleans Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.

The case was investigated by the New Orleans Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Privitera, Inga Petrovich and David Haller of the Violent Crime Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

 

Topic(s): 
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated July 27, 2020