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Press Release

West Bank Resident Pleads Guilty to Violating the Federal Controlled Substances Act

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

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – DAVID TRAN, age 32, of New Orleans, Louisiana, pleaded guilty today before the Honorable Jane Triche Milazzo to an indictment charging him with violating the Federal Controlled Substances Act, announced U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser.

According to the court records, TRAN pleaded guilty to conspiring with other individuals to manufacture, possess with the intent to distribute, and to distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, and 100 grams or more of heroin.  TRAN also admitted that he possessed large quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine with the intent to distribute them and that he was manufacturing large quantities of marijuana. 

The case resulted from a lengthy Title III wire intercept investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration in which TRAN and his co-conspirators were captured discussing heroin sales, as well as the construction of a large indoor marijuana grow in Bridge City.  The calls led the DEA agents to conduct a search of a warehouse and adjacent residence in Bridge City.  During the search, the agents found a large marijuana grow that contained approximately 700 plants in varying stages of growth and equipment sufficient to grow many thousand more plants.  Significant work and expense had been put into remodeling the warehouse, including thousands of dollars in lights, cooling systems, and ventilation.  The agents also discovered a safe containing a cornucopia of other drugs, including 1,396.2 grams of methamphetamine; 990 grams of MDMA (ecstasy); and 1,175.9 grams of fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid that is fueling the tremendous rise in overdose deaths. 

Sentencing is scheduled for July 31, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.  TRAN faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years up to a maximum of life, a fine of $10,000,000, and at least five years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New Orleans Police Department, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  Several other law enforcement agencies, including Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Kenner Police Department, assisted in the search of the warehouse in Bridge City.  The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney David Haller.

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Updated May 1, 2019

Drug Trafficking