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Press Release

Second Superseding Indictment Unsealed Charging St. Charles Parish Narcotics Ring

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

Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans, announces the arrest of LUIS J. COTTO, a/k/a “Luis Pereira,” age 31, of New York, following the unsealing of a Second Superseding Indictment charging an array of federal narcotics and firearm violations by members of a drug trafficking organization operating in south Louisiana. 


The Second Superseding Indictment, which was returned by the grand jury on October 27, 2017, and unsealed today charges seven defendants with conspiring to distribute controlled dangerous substances in the parishes of St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and elsewhere.  As with the prior Indictment, this Second Superseding Indictment alleges that the conspirators included ANDRE STAGGERS, a/k/a “Dre,” age 43; COREY SESSION, age 43; GREGORY LONDON, JR., a/k/a “Lil Gregg,” age 41; TERRANCE ANDERSON, a/k/a “City,” age 35; KIRK BALLARD, age 36; and LEONARD MORRISON, a/k/a “Leonard London,” age 35. 


This Second Superseding Indictment names COTTO as an additional co-conspirator.  COTTO was arrested today at his residence in Utica, New York, pursuant to a federal arrest warrant issued after the Second Superseding Indictment was returned by the grand jury.


The Second Superseding Indictment also alleges that COTTO was responsible for more than one kilogram of heroin and five kilograms of cocaine through his own conduct and the reasonably foreseeable conduct of his co-conspirators.  The Second Superseding Indictment asserts that, on or about August 7, 2016, COTTO transported more than $225,000 in cash in furtherance of the drug conspiracy.


According to the Second Superseding Indictment, these defendants conspired together from approximately January 2015 through August 2016 to distribute heroin, cocaine, and marijuana in the Eastern District of Louisiana and elsewhere.  The scope of the conspiracy encompassed at least five kilograms or more of cocaine and one kilogram or more of heroin.  During the course of this investigation, federal and state law enforcement officers seized various drugs, including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine. 

According to court documents, search warrants executed on February 25, 2016, at two residences used by COREY SESSION resulted in the seizure of two AK-style rifles, approximately $10,000 in cash, and a half kilogram of cocaine.  A search warrant executed the same day at the residence of ANDRE STAGGERS resulted in the seizure of an AR-15 rifle, a half kilogram of heroin, and over $400,000 in cash.


If convicted for violating federal drug conspiracy laws, the defendants face the following penalties.  STAGGERS, SESSION, LONDON Jr., ANDERSON, BALLARD, and COTTO each face a maximum of life imprisonment, a $10,000,000 fine, and at least five years of supervised release.  MORRISON faces a maximum of 40 years imprisonment, a $5,000,000 fine, and at least four years of supervised release. 


STAGGERS, SESSION, and MORRISON also are charged with federal firearms violations.  STAGGERS is charged with possession of a firearm as a felon, for which he could receive up to ten years of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release.  SESSION and MORRISON are each charged with possession of a firearm as an armed career criminal, for which each could receive a minimum of fifteen years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment, a $250,000.00 fine, and up to five years of supervised release.  STAGGERS, SESSION, and MORRISON are also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, for which they each face a minimum of five years in prison consecutive to any other sentence, a $250,000 fine, and up to five years of supervised release.


Acting U.S. Attorney Evans reiterated that the Second Superseding Indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  


This Second Superseding Indictment represents a coordinated effort of federal and state law enforcement authorities within the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program.  The DEA’s HIDTA Group #11, operating out of the New Orleans Field Division, includes members of the Louisiana State Police, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, and other local agencies.  Acting U.S. Evans thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration Syracuse Field Office and the Utica Police Department for their assistance in arresting COTTO.


The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Payne and Special Assistant United States Attorney Andre Gaudin, who is assigned from the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office to the DEA HIDTA Group.


Updated November 8, 2017

Drug Trafficking