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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 13, 2022

New Orleans Man Convicted at Trial on Gun and Drug Charges

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that PALMA JEFFERSON, JR., from the greater New Orleans area, was found guilty as charged of five (5) counts of drug trafficking and gun charges. United States District Court Judge Sarah S. Vance presided over the trial.

According to the evidence presented at trial, on April 30, 2019, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (“JPSO”) detectives executed a search warrant at JEFFERSON, JR.’s residence in Metairie, Louisiana. The previous day, detectives received an anonymous tip that an individual would be transporting multiple kilograms of cocaine from Baton Rouge to JEFFERSON, JR.’s residence.  The detectives corroborated the tipster’s information and approached JEFFERSON, JR. outside his home, where he admitted to possessing a large amount of cocaine and a firearm inside his residence. 

Detectives then executed a search warrant for the residence.  Inside the residence, JPSO detectives seized more than 100 grams of heroin, 900 grams of cocaine, 1,900 grams of methamphetamine, and 600 grams of marijuana.  Detectives also located a Lorcin, model L380, .380 caliber firearm.  The firearm contained seven live cartridges, including one in the chamber. 

In a post-arrest interview, JEFFERSON, JR. claimed ownership of all the seized contraband, including the firearm, from his apartment.

At the conclusion of a three (3) day trial, the jury found PALMA JEFFERSON, JR. guilty as charged of possession with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, 500 grams or more of cocaine hydrochloride, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, a quantity of marijuana, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(B)(i), 841(b)(1)(B)(ii)(II), 841(b)(1)(A)(viii), 841(b)(1)(D), and Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2), respectively.

At sentencing, PALMA JEFFERSON, JR. faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years up to  a maximum term of life imprisonment, a $10,000,000 fine, and at least 5 years supervised release.  Sentencing in this matter is scheduled for July 13, 2022. 

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (“PSN”) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

The case was investigated by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation New Orleans Gang Task Force.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Andre Jones and Melissa Bücher of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated April 13, 2022