According to the bill of information, BERRY and R.S. met in about early 2013 and soon developed a romantic relationship. Thereafter, BERRY began working for an escort agency under R.S.’s supervision, often engaging in prostitution activities. BERRY and R.S. travelled nationally engaging in their prostitution scheme. BERRY often used the alias “Desiree Knowles.” Thereafter, the enterprise evolved into one that involved meeting individuals online who were interested in companionship, arranging face-to-face interactions with them, and incapacitating them by giving them illegal drugs and prescription medication with neuro-suppressive side effects, including anti-psychotic medications, which the victims unknowingly ingested. BERRY and R.S. would then steal the victims’ valuables. Between at least November 2015 and September 2017, R.S. and BERRY implemented the scheme on not fewer than fifty (50) occasions throughout the United States, including in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, and Georgia. BERRY and R.S. were arrested at a hotel in Sandy Springs, Georgia, on September 13, 2017. When law enforcement authorities found BERRY at the hotel, she was bleeding from her nose, had a swollen lip and puncture consistent with her teeth biting through her lip, and black electrical tape around one of her arms.
According to the bill of information, on about February 24, 2017, BERRY met S.A., a resident of Metairie, Louisiana, through a social media application. After exchanging text messages and phone calls, BERRY and S.A. agreed to meet at S.A.’s apartment. Thereafter, R.S. dropped BERRY off at S.A.’s apartment. While at S.A.’s apartment, BERRY placed drugs designed to incapacitate S.A., including multiple anti-psychotic medications, into S.A.’s beverages without his knowledge or authorization. After S.A. lost consciousness, BERRY told R.S. that S.A. was incapacitated, and R.S. returned to S.A.’s residence. Thereafter, R.S. and one or more conspirators stole S.A.’s valuables, including his wallet, two cellular phones, his keys, and his 2012 Toyota Tacoma truck. On February 25, 2017, BERRY and R.S. used S.A.’s debit card to make multiple purchases in the New Orleans area. Additionally, on February 25, 2017, detectives with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a wellness check at S.A.’s residence and found him to be deceased. Among its findings, toxicology tests found anti-psychotic medications in S.A.’s body and determined them to have contributed to his death.
If you believe you are a victim of these criminal activities, please contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324), and reference this case.
If convicted, BERRY faces a maximum term of seven (7) years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000.00, up to three (3) years of supervised release after imprisonment, and a mandatory $100 special assessment.
U. S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that a bill of information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter and expressed appreciation for the support provided by the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Jordan Ginsberg, supervisor of the Public Corruption Unit, and Elizabeth Privitera, supervisor of the Violent Crime Unit, are in charge of the prosecution.