Three Charged with Drug Trafficking and Firearms Offenses
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that SEAN MARTIN, age 55, of New Orleans, SEAN ESPRIT, age 26, of New Orleans, and GENE JACKSON, age 51, of New Orleans, were indicted by a federal grand jury for violations of the federal Controlled Substances and Gun Control Acts on December 10, 2021. The indictment was unsealed on January 19, 2022. Among other charges, MARTIN, ESPRIT and JACKSON were charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine hydrochloride, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), 841(b)(1)(C), and 846. MARTIN and ESPRIT were also charged with possession of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii).
According to the indictment, MARTIN, ESPRIT and JACKSON conspired with each other and others to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine hydrochloride in the Eastern District of Louisiana and elsewhere. MARTIN and ESPRIT possessed over 1 kilogram of heroin and over 400 grams of fentanyl, as well as a quantity of cocaine hydrochloride on November 19, 2019. MARTIN and ESPRIT also possessed a Smith and Wesson nine-millimeter semiautomatic pistol on that date.
If convicted of the drug offenses, MARTIN faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, up to life imprisonment, a fine of up to $20,000,000, and at least 10 years of supervised release; ESPRIT faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, up to life imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000,000, and at least 5 years of supervised release; and JACKSON faces up to 20 years of imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000,000 and at least 3 years of supervised release. On the firearms charge, MARTIN and ESPRIT face a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years, up to life imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to 5 years of supervised release. For each count of the indictment, MARTIN, ESPRIT and JACKSON also face payment of a $100 mandatory special assessment fee.
U.S. Attorney Evans reiterated that the indictment is merely an allegation and that the guilt of each defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being investigated by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan L. Shih is in charge of the prosecution.