New Orleans Men Sentenced After Pleading Guilty to Drug Conspiracy and Firearms Offenses
U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that ELTON WELLS, age 39, and JUSTIN CRAFT, age 29, of New Orleans, were sentenced today after pleading guilty to several drug charges, including conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute one hundred grams or more of heroin. CRAFT also pled guilty to firearms offenses, including felon in possession of a firearm and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. WELLS was sentenced to 120 months incarceration and eight years supervised release. CRAFT was sentenced to 180 months incarceration and eight years supervised release.
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 and CRAFT, were heroin distributors in the area of Mandeville Street and Derbigny Street in New Orleans. Based on that information, officers conducted surveillance in that area.
On April 5, 2017, surveillance officers in the area of Mandeville and Derbigny Streets observed WELLS conduct a hand-to-hand drug transaction and return to his vehicle. Officers arrested WELLS and seized a quantity of heroin from WELLS.
On April 11, 2017, officers conducted surveillance in the same area and observed CRAFT conduct a hand-to-hand narcotics transaction with an individual. Officers arrested the individual and seized heroin that he purchased from CRAFT. A second individual who was also arrested after purchasing heroin in the area, informed officers that he regularly called one telephone that was shared by CRAFT, WELLS and another individual, and that any one of them would sell him an ounce of heroin.
Officers and DEA Special Agents obtained a search warrant for CRAFT’S residence at 14070 Wales Street in New Orleans. During the search, officers and agents seized 4.9 grams of heroin and several firearms, including two semi-automatic rifles, a semi-automatic pistol, and a shotgun.
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 was in charge of the prosecution.