NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that CARLOS MARIO CANTU-COX, age 49, and his husband, CHRISTOPHER CANTU-COX, age 38, both of Pasadena, Texas, were sentenced on June 29, 2021 by U.S. District Court Judge Wendy B. Vitter to twenty years of imprisonment, five years of supervised release and a mandatory $100 special assessment fee for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, the maximum sentence allowed under the statute 21 United States Code § 846.
The CANTU-COXES were large scale methamphetamine suppliers to the Houston and New Orleans area. They pleaded guilty on February 4, 2020, to conspiring with nine other defendants to distribute methamphetamine in the Eastern District of Louisiana. As part of this conspiracy, the CANTU-COXES sent methamphetamine to themselves and other drug traffickers in New Orleans using the U.S. Postal Service, Greyhound Package Express, and other services. The drug conspiracy lasted from a time prior to January 1, 2016 and continued through August 18, 2016.
As described in court documents, one of the CANTU-COXES’ customers was an eighteen-year-old from Slidell, Louisiana, who frequently traveled to Texas to stay at their home. During one of these visits, the teenager was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm and the CANTU-COXES posted his $6000 bond.
The teenager did not appear for his Texas court appearances and the CANTU-COXES told their New Orleans customers that they wanted the teenager so they could transport him back to Texas and recover their bond. Williams Harrison Farris, age 40, a New Orleans-based methamphetamine dealer and user who was supplied by the CANTU-COXES learned that the couple was looking for the teenager and were offering free methamphetamine to anyone who successfully led them to him.
Farris had previously dated Kacie Doucet, aged 38, another New Orleans-based drug user. Farris knew that Doucet was connected to the teenager on Facebook. At the direction of Farris, Doucet contacted the teenager over Facebook on multiple occasions and suggested that they meet for a sexual encounter. Farris and Doucet enlisted the help of Leilani Aspuria, age 26, of Jefferson Parish, the only one of the three with a car.
The CANTU-COXES were aware that Doucet’s offer of a sexual encounter with the teenager was a ruse, and that the real purpose of picking up the teenager in Slidell at his grandfather’s house was to provide him with a cocktail of powerful drugs and thus render him incapacitated so he could be delivered to the CANTU-COXES who were staying at a hotel in downtown New Orleans. The CANTU-COXES supplied the drug cocktail, which contained ketamine, as well as instructions on how to mix the drugs with alcohol so that it could be administered to the teenager without him knowing what he was taking.
Doucet and Aspuria picked up the teenager on February 23, 2016 and gave him the CANTU-COXES’s drug cocktail, which the couple referred to as an “elixir.” Eventually, the teenager passed out, at which point Doucet and Aspuria drove to the parking garage of Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans. Farris had been following Doucet and Aspuria on his motorcycle. The teenager’s body was then transferred to the CANTU-COXES’ car. The CANTU-COXES then drove back to Texas, with the teenager passed out in their back seat.
Somewhere near the Louisiana-Texas border, the CANTU-COXES realized that the teenager was no longer breathing. The CANTU-COXES continued driving to their home in Pasadena, Texas and parked in their driveway. Because it was still daylight, they left the teenager’s body in the car. At nightfall on February 24, 2016, the CANTU-COXES drove to a bridge over Sims Bayou in the Houston area and put the teenager’s body into the bayou. The teenager’s body washed to the shore of Sims Bayou a week later. The CANTU-COXES later paid Farris a quantity of methamphetamine for his efforts in capturing the teenager.
Farris, Doucet, and Aspuria have all pleaded guilty to distributing ketamine. U.S District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo sentenced Aspuria to ten years of imprisonment on February 7, 2020. Doucet will be sentenced on August 4, 2021. Farris will be sentenced on August 18, 2021.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the United States Postal Inspection Service, Louisiana State Police, Houston Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David Howard Sinkman and Brandon S. Long.
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