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Press Release

New Orleans Man Sentenced for Violations of Controlled Substances and Gun Control Acts

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

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JASHA BANKS, a/k/a “Chocolate,” age 39, a resident of New Orleans, was sentenced on November 30, 2023 by U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan to 120 months incarceration after previously pleading guilty to a three-count indictment. Judge Morgan ordered that BANKS be placed on supervised release for three (3) years and pay a mandatory $300 special assessment fee.

Count 1 charged BANKS with being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) and Title 18, U.S.C. § 924(a)(8).  Count 2 charged BANKS with possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances, in violation of Title 21, U.S.C., §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C).  Count 3 charged BANKS with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(i).

According to court records, on August 2, 2022, a New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) officer attempted to make a lawful stop of a white Chrysler 300 driven by BANKS.  However, BANKS fled from the officer before being apprehended.  After obtaining a search warrant for BANKS’s vehicle, NOPD officers searched the car and located $31,478 in cash, 12 individually wrapped baggies containing a blue rock-like substance (46.7 grams) identified as fentanyl, a black Glock Model 23, .40 caliber handgun containing 14 live rounds, and various other items.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Orleans Police Department in investigating this matter.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mike Trummel of the Violent Crime Unit.


Shane Jones 

Community Outreach Coordinator 

U.S. Attorney's Office 

Eastern District of Louisiana

Updated December 4, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses