Indictment Unsealed Charging Heroin and Cocaine Conspiracy in St. Charles And St. John The Baptist Parishes
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced the recent unsealing of a Superseding Indictment charging an array of federal narcotics and firearm violations by members of a drug trafficking organization operating in south Louisiana. The Superseding Indictment, which was returned by the grand jury on May 26, 2016 and unsealed today, charges eight defendants with conspiring to distribute controlled dangerous substances in the parishes of St. Charles and St. John the Baptist. The Superseding Indictment names the following defendants: ANDRE STAGGERS, a/k/a “Dre,” age 42, COREY SESSION, age 42, GREGORY LONDON, JR., a/k/a “Lil Gregg,” age 40, TERRANCE ANDERSON, a/k/a “City,” age 34, KIRK BALLARD, age 34, LEONARD MORRISON, a/k/a “Leonard London,” age 33, CHRISTOPHER OLAVARRIETA, age 30, and KIRKLAND JEROME STERLING, age 42.
According to the Superseding Indictment, these defendants conspired together, from approximately January 2015 through May 2016, to distribute heroin, cocaine, and marijuana in the Eastern District of Louisiana and elsewhere. The scope of the conspiracy encompassed at least five kilograms or more of cocaine and one kilogram or more of heroin. During the course of this investigation, federal and state law enforcement officers seized various drugs, including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine. According to court documents, search warrants executed on February 25, 2016, at two residences used by COREY SESSION resulted in the seizure of two AK-style rifles, approximately $10,000 in cash, and a half kilogram of cocaine. A search warrant executed the same day at the residence of ANDRE STAGGERS resulted in the seizure of an AR-15 rifle, a half kilogram of heroin, and over $400,000 in cash.
If convicted for violating federal drug conspiracy laws, the defendants face the following penalties. STAGGERS, SESSION, LONDON Jr., ANDERSON, and BALLARD each face a maximum of life imprisonment, a $10,000,000 fine, and at least five years of supervised release. MORRISON faces a maximum of 40 years imprisonment, a $5,000,000 fine, and at least four years of supervised release. OLAVARIETTA and STERLING could receive a maximum of twenty years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine, and at least three years of supervised release.
STAGGERS and SESSION also are charged with federal firearms violations. STAGGERS is charged with possession of a firearm as a felon, for which he could receive up to ten years of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release. SESSION is charged with possession of a firearm as an armed career criminal, for which he could receive a minimum of fifteen years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to five years of supervised release. Both STAGGERS and SESSION are also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, for which they each face a minimum of five years in prison consecutive to any other sentence, a $250,000 fine, and up to five years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Polite reiterated that the Superseding Indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This indictment represents a coordinated effort of federal and state law enforcement authorities within the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program. The DEA’s HIDTA Group #11, operating out of the New Orleans Field Division, includes members of the Louisiana State Police, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, and other local agencies. Agents and officer with the DEA HIDTA Group arrested GREGORY LONDON Jr., TERRANCE ANDERSON, LEONARD MORRISON, CHRISTOPHER OLAVARRIETA, and KIRKLAND JEROME STERLING on June 15, 2016. KIRK BALLARD was arrested on August 23, 2015, on state charges that were incorporated into the federal indictment. ANDRE STAGGERS and COREY SESSION were both arrested after the February 25, 2016 search warrants that were executed at their respective residences.
The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Payne and Special Assistant United States Attorney Andre Gaudin, who is assigned from the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office to the DEA HIDTA Group.