New Orleans Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy and Firearms Offenses
U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that CHRIS WELLS, age 34, of New Orleans, pled guilty to several drug and firearms charges, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one hundred grams or more of heroin and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to court documents, In March of 2017, members of the NOPD/HIDTA Task Force received information from a source of information that three individuals, including WELLS, were heroin distributors in the area of Mandeville Street and Derbigny Street in New Orleans.
On April 13, 2017, officers conducted surveillance of the individuals and observed WELLS conduct a hand-to-hand narcotics transactions with several individuals. As the officers continued their surveillance, they observed WELLS drive to Chalmette, Louisiana and return to New Orleans where an individual entered WELLS’s vehicle. After a brief period, the individual exited WELLS’s vehicle and walked toward the intersection of Frenchman and St. Claude Street. Officers approached the individual, who attempted to run but fell down and spilled approximately an ounce of heroin that he purchased from WELLS. In a post-arrest statement, the individual admitted that he routinely purchased heroin by calling one telephone that was shared by WELLS and two other persons. According to the individual, any one of the three would answer the phone and sell him an ounce of heroin on a weekly basis.
Officers and DEA Special Agents obtained a search warrant for WELLS’s residence at 406 East Liberaux Street in Chalmette, Louisiana. During the search, officers and agents seized 70 grams of heroin, 38 grams of cocaine base (“crack”), and a Smith & Wesson 9 mm semi-automatic pistol.
WELLS faces a minimum term of fifteen years’ imprisonment and a maximum of life imprisonment. U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier set sentencing for July 12, 2018.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New Orleans Police Department, and the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney André Jones is in charge of the prosecution.