Jefferson County Men Convicted of Drug Trafficking Charges in Federal Court
BEAUMONT, Texas – Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston announced today that three Beaumont men have been convicted by a jury following a three-day trial and lengthy investigation into drug trafficking in the Eastern District of Texas.
Kristopher George Ardoin, 30; Kody Dwayne Ardoin, 22; and Zerrick Edward Walker, 32; were found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine. The verdict was reached by a jury late on Jan. 25, 2017 following a trial before U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone. Kristopher Ardoin was also found guilty of a firearms conspiracy.
According to information presented in court, for over a decade the Ardoin family and others openly distributed crack cocaine from their home at 1107 Avenue A in Beaumont. In the last ten years, the Beaumont Police Department has received over 2,000 calls for service to the neighborhood block controlled by the Ardoin organization, including approximately 139 calls to the crack house itself. An estimated 280 grams of crack cocaine is believed to have been distributed from the location during this time. A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment on May 4, 2016 charging 13 individuals with federal drug and firearms violations. The other ten defendants have already pleaded guilty to their crimes.
"This is a great example of federal, state and local law enforcement coming together to make the community a safer place to live,” said Acting U.S Attorney Featherston. “I appreciate the hard work of the investigators and prosecutors who worked day and night to put this case together."
Under federal statutes, the defendants each face a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Beaumont Police Department. The U.S. Marshals Service also assisted in today’s law enforcement activities. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lesley A. Woods and Robert L. Rawls.