New Orleans Man Pleads to Gun and Drug Distribution Charges
NEW ORLEANS, LA – United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that QUENTRELL BERTHOLOTTE, age 29, of New Orleans, Louisiana, pleaded guilty as charged on February 24, 2022 to a four count indictment for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2), possession with intent to distribute fentanyl in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B), and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1)(A)(i).
According to court documents, on January 14, 2020 BERTHOLOTTE was seen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) on video surveillance wielding a 5.56 caliber “ghost gun,” a weapon which does not have a serial number. During a search of his girlfriend’s apartment on April 22, 2021, FBI agents found over forty (40) grams of fentanyl, the “ghost gun,” a Glock Model 27 firearm, and over $30,000.00 in U.S. currency. BERTHOLOTTE had been previously convicted of a drug trafficking offense in Orleans Parish.
BERTHOLOTTE’s sentencing is scheduled for June 23, 2022 before the Honorable Barry W. Ashe in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
For possession with intent to distribute narcotics, BERTHOLOTTE faces a minimum term of five (5) years up to a maximum term of forty (40) years imprisonment, a fine of up to $5,000,000.00, a minimum of five (5) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and a $100.00 mandatory special assessment fee. For possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, he faces a minimum term of five (5) years up to a maximum term of life imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, up to five (5) years of supervised release, and a $100.00 mandatory special assessment fee. For possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, he faces up to a maximum of ten (10) years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, up to three (3) years of supervised release, and a $100.00 mandatory special assessment fee.
This case is being 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.
U.S. Attorney Evans reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles D. Strauss.
* * *