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Press Release

New Orleans Men Plead Guilty to Possessing Cars Stolen from Norfolk Southern Railyard and Federal Gun and Drug Offenses

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

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – DERRIN RILEY, age 28, and JONATHAN FRANK, age 40, residents of New Orleans, pleaded guilty on January 23, 2024, before U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey. RILEY pleaded guilty to one count, and FRANK pleaded guilty to two counts, of possessing goods stolen from an interstate shipment, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 659. RILEY also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(D). FRANK also pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(8).

According to court documents, on March 20, 2023, a white 2023 Ford Explorer ST was stolen from the Norfolk Southern Automotive Distribution Facility. On March 27, 2023, a Ford Explorer Timberline and a stone blue metallic 2023 Ford Explorer ST were also stolen from that Facility.

Between March 30 and April 3, 2023, FRANK was seen on surveillance video driving both stolen Ford Explorer STs while in possession of a Smith & Wesson handgun. On April 3, 2023, RILEY was seen on surveillance video exiting the stolen Ford Explorer Timberline with a large bag of marijuana which, it was determined, he intended to distribute. Two other individuals riding in the stolen car with RILEY possessed firearms.

Each count of possessing a stolen car carries a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment , up to a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release. As to his conviction for possession with intent to distribute marijuana, RILEY faces up to 5 years imprisonment , up to a $250,000 fine, and a minimum of two years of supervised release. As to his conviction for felon in possession of a firearm, FRANK faces up to 15 years imprisonment , up to a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release. As to each count of conviction, FRANK faces payment of a mandatory $100 special assessment fee.

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.

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, the Louisiana State Police, and the New Orleans Police Department.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Berman of the Violent Crime Unit.

Contact

Shane M. Jones

Public Information Officer

United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

United States Department of Justice

Updated January 25, 2024

Topic
Project Safe Neighborhoods