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Press Release

New Orleans Man Pleads Guilty To Obtaining Kilograms of Fentanyl Analogue from China

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS - U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that LEROY SMITH, age 35, of New Orleans, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiring to distribute 100 grams or more of a fentanyl analogue and 100 grams or more of heroin and one count of possessing firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking.  On the drug charge, SMITH is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a maximum sentence of life, a possible fine of up to $10,000,000, and at least five years of supervised release upon his release from prison.  On the firearms charge, SMITH is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment, a possible fine of up to $250,000, and no more than five years of supervised release upon his release from prison. 

According to court records, SMITH conspired with his codefendant, Carl J. Hurst, and others, to order kilograms of acetylfentanyl, an analogue of fentanyl, from a Chinese manufacturer.  SMITH admitted that he sold the acetylfentanyl as “heroin.”  The government’s evidence in this case includes multiple undercover purchases of heroin and acetylfentanyl from SMITH, wiretaps on SMITH’s phones, drug seizures, and eyewitness testimony.  On May 31, 2019, codefendant Hurst also pleaded guilty to conspiring to sell acetylfentanyl and heroin. 

U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle will sentence SMITH on September 25, 2019.

This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets. 

U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New Orleans Police Department in investigating this matter.  Assistant United States Attorneys Brandon Long and Nicholas Moses are responsible for the prosecution.                                              


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Updated June 25, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses