Three New Orleans Men Receive Lengthy Prison Sentences in Heroin Conspiracy Involving Overdose Death
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that MALCOLM BOLDEN, age 20, NOEL JONES, age 27, and TERRELL DYER, age 29, all of New Orleans, were sentenced today for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin in the New Orleans area. BOLDEN was also sentenced for one count of distribution of heroin resulting in an overdose death.
United States District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt sentenced BOLDEN to 300 months in prison, 5 years of supervised release following his prison term, and a $200 special assessment. A restitution hearing regarding BOLDEN is scheduled for September 30, 2015. Judge Engelhardt read from the bench a letter written by the victim’s mother, and had a picture of the victim displayed in the courtroom.
The Court sentenced JONES to 327 months in prison, with 240 months to run consecutive to a state court sentence of 12 years, as well as 5 years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment. DYER was sentenced to 162 months in prison, 5 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. Six other defendants are scheduled for sentencing hearings in August and September of this year. Trial on the Indictment as to defendant THEODORE GRIFFIN is scheduled for September 14, 2015.
Before sentencing, Judge Engelhardt stated that there is a heroin epidemic in the New Orleans metropolitan area that spans racial and economic lines, and that the community needs to address the issue in part through cases such as this one.
“I applaud Judge Engelhardt for imposing such lengthy sentences in this case,” stated U.S. Attorney Polite. “Moreover, I share his sentiments regarding the heroin epidemic that we are experiencing both regionally and nationally. As the overdose death in this case illustrates, heroin trafficking is not a victimless crime.”
According to court documents, the investigation of this trafficking organization included multiple court-authorized wiretaps by the Drug Enforcement Administration New Orleans Police Department High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area group, including taps of cell phones used by dealers to communicate with suppliers, other co-conspirators, and customers. DEA worked together with agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct numerous undercover purchases of heroin, surveillance operations, searches, witness debriefings, records analyses, and other investigative techniques to uncover and dismantle the heroin trafficking activities of the group.
The investigation showed that the defendants had been using a residence in New Orleans East as a base of operations to meet with heroin suppliers, maintain a heroin stash, and provide heroin to other dealers.
Numerous daily heroin customers also called the ‘dope’ phones used by these defendants every day to order heroin. Typically one of the dealers would answer these calls, ask the caller how much heroin he or she wanted to buy, and direct the caller to drive to a gas station or other commercial location in the New Orleans East neighborhood. Through subsequent calls and then visual contact between the customer and dealer, the dealer would direct the customer to rendezvous in a parking lot or on a side street near the commercial location to conduct the heroin sale.
According to the record, in July 2013, a court-authorized wiretap of the ‘dope’ phone used by defendant TERENCE TAYLOR intercepted a series of calls relating to the sale of heroin to a person who had recently been through treatment for heroin addiction, and who died later that day as a result of a heroin overdose. Intercepted calls helped to demonstrate that TAYLOR negotiated this particular sale of heroin and that BOLDEN subsequently met with the decedent to complete the sale.
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the DEA New Orleans Police Department High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area group, the FBI, and the ATF, with the assistance of the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office, the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office, and the Louisiana State Police in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael B. Redmann and Mark A. Miller are in charge of the prosecution.