United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today that U.S. District Judge Shelly D. Dick sentenced COLIN KNOX, age 39, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to 30 years in prison. The defendant was convicted on all charges related to his role as a member of a large-scale and violent drug trafficking organization following a six-day jury trial in March.
The evidence at trial demonstrated that KNOX’s role in the organization was as an enforcer who used violence and threats of violence to protect Kelly Williams and the drug trafficking organization. On at least two occasions, KNOX attempted to obtain firearms and an untraceable vehicle to locate and harm others that were involved in disputes with Williams.
KNOX was the final defendant of 38 defendants convicted in Operation Third World, an extensive investigation that dismantled a violent drug trafficking network primarily operating out of Baton Rouge and Ascension Parish. His co-defendant, Demitoris Alexander, was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 7, 2018.
KNOX is currently serving a 10-year sentence for a 2015 conviction for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, which was prosecuted in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. At the time that KNOX committed the offense, he was still under supervision after serving a 96-month sentence, imposed in the same court, for a 2004 conviction for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin stated, “This 30 year sentence turns last page in the final chapter of a career of violence and drug peddling for Mr. Knox. East Baton Rouge, Ascension, and the surrounding communities are better for it. I salute the outstanding efforts of the numerous federal, state and local law enforcement agencies who joined forces yet again to effectively combat a violent drug trafficking organization. Special thanks for the hard work and dedication of our prosecutors who spent countless hours in this extremely important matter.”
“The sentencing today of Collin Knox sends a clear message to all who engage in the distribution of illegal drugs and to those who plague our neighborhoods with violence that we will work together to see that you are brought to justice. Federal and local law enforcement successfully collaborated in order to put Knox in federal prison for 30 years as a result of his involvement with a violent drug trafficking organization in Baton Rouge,” said Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Brad L. Byerley.
The investigation is another effort by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program, which was established in 1982 to mount a comprehensive attack against organized drug traffickers. Today, the OCDETF Program is the centerpiece of the United States Attorney General’s drug strategy to reduce the availability of drugs by disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations and money laundering organizations and related criminal enterprises. The OCDETF Program operates nationwide and combines the resources and unique expertise of numerous federal, state, and local agencies in a coordinated attack against major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.
Operation Third World was handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Baton Rouge City Police Department, the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana State Police, the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Gonzales Police Department, and the Baker Police Department. This matter was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney and Deputy Criminal Chief Jennifer Kleinpeter and Assistant United States Attorney Adam Ptashkin.