Federal Jury Convicts St. Roch Resident in Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy
Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that yesterday a federal jury has convicted LAZANDY DANIELS, age 40, of the St. Roch neighborhood, for his role in distributing kilograms of cocaine in the New Orleans area. Following a three-day trial, the jury found DANIELS guilty of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine hydrochloride (powder) and 28 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack”); and two counts relating to the distribution of crack cocaine.
According to the evidence at trial, co-defendant CRAIG JAMES was a Houston-based cocaine supplier who, during 2014 and 2015, transported up to 30 kilograms of cocaine per month from Houston to New Orleans. JAMES’S method for transportation was to hide the cocaine in the door panels of used cars, load the cars onto a flatbed truck, and drive the truck from Houston to a salvage yard in New Orleans East. Upon arrival at the salvage yard, DANIELS and others would assist JAMES in unloading the drugs; distributing the drugs to local kilogram-level dealers like co-defendants LEON JACKSON and JOPPA JACKSON; and then collecting the drug proceeds that would then be used to purchase more cocaine for resale. The evidence further showed that DANIELS sold quantities of crack and powder cocaine from a home near the intersection of North Derbigny Street and Mandeville Street in the St. Roch neighborhood. DANIELS and JAMES were arrested on December 2, 2015, at the Super 8 Hotel on Chef Menteur Highway in New Orleans East. At the time of the arrest, the men were in possession of 164 grams of crack cocaine, numerous items used to weigh and package cocaine, and almost $300,000 in cash drug proceeds.
Because DANIELS has a prior felony drug conviction, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years in prison, a maximum life sentence, a possible fine of $20,000,000, and a supervised release period of at least ten years. Sentencing before Judge Jane Triche Milazzo is scheduled for September 14, 2017.
Co-defendants CRAIG JAMES and LEON JACKSON, JR., both previously pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of a mixture containing cocaine hydrochloride and 28 grams or more of a mixture containing cocaine base (crack). Both defendants are scheduled for sentencing on July 13, 2017.
Co-defendant JOPPA JACKSON previously pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine hydrochloride and is scheduled for sentencing on August 10, 2017.
Acting U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New Orleans Police Department, Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office, Kenner Police Department, and Border Patrol in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorneys Brandon S. Long and Theodore Carter are responsible for the prosecution.