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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 23, 2015

Jury Finds Waggaman Woman Guilty For Drug Importation Violations

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced the jury trial conviction of YOLANDA SMITH, 34, of Waggaman, on all three counts, namely: conspiracy to import methylone from China into the United States; conspiracy to possess methylone with the intent to distribute; and possession of methylone with the intent to distribute. According to evidence and testimony introduced at trial, SMITH, along with three other co-defendants who pleaded guilty and testified as government witnesses at trial, provided her address to accept mail parcels from China containing approximately half-a-kilogram each of methylone. The parcels were intercepted by Customs and Border Protection agents in San Francisco, tested for the substance, and forwarded to this district for controlled deliveries by United States Postal Inspectors and Homeland Security Investigation agents. The parcel addressed to SMITH at her Waggaman residence was control-delivered on May 30, 2013, and SMITH was arrested soon after that.

SMITH faces a maximum of 20 years imprisonment, along with a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release on each count of conviction.  U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan set sentencing for May 6, 2014.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Border Enforcement Security Taskforce, the United States Postal Service, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, and the New Orleans Police Department in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael E. McMahon and Michael S. Simpson were in charge of the prosecution.

Updated January 23, 2015