Three Men, Including Two Former Local Law Enforcement Officers, Plead Guilty to Trafficking In Contraband Cigarettes
Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that JUSTIN BROWN, age 30, and JOSHUA CARTHON, age 32, both of New Orleans, pled guilty today to interstate transportation in aid of racketeering enterprises. Additionally, co-defendant, ANWAR ABDELMAJID-AHMAD, a/k/a Tony, age 29, of Gretna, pled guilty to conspiracy to traffic in contraband cigarettes, conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 1 kilogram or more of heroin, and federal firearms violations.
According to previously filed court documents, BROWN and CARTHON, along with GARRETT PARTMAN, all local law enforcement officers at the time of the Indictment, were utilized to protect and transport the shipment of contraband cigarettes across state lines. Co-defendants, ABDELMAJID-AHMAD, JADALLAH SAED, and ATALLA ATALLA, would then distribute and sell the contraband cigarettes in North Carolina and other states where the cigarette taxes are higher than Louisiana, resulting in a total tax loss to the federal and state governments of between $400,000 and $900,000. At the time of his arrest, ABDELMAJID-AHMAD was found to be in possession of 15.5 grams of heroin and two loaded firearms, one of which was obtained under false pretenses.
Defendants BROWN and CARTHON face a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment, $250,000 fine, and 3 years supervised release. As to the contraband cigarette trafficking and weapons charges, ABDELMAJID-AHMAD also faces a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment, $250,000 fine, and 3 years supervised release. However, as to the drug conspiracy charge, ABDELMAJID-AHMAD faces a minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, a $10 million dollar fine, and a minimum of 5 years supervised release.
U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt set sentencing for August 2, 2017. GARRETT PARTMAN, JADALLAH SAED and ATALLA ATALLA are schedule for trial on August 14, 2017. .
Acting U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the FBI New Orleans Division and Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations. He also thanked the New Orleans Police Department Public Integrity Bureau for their assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tracey N. Knight and Irene Gonzalez are in charge of the prosecution.