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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 23, 2016

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Members Of New Orleans Heroin Trafficking Organization

BATON ROUGE, LA – United States Attorney Walt Green of the Middle District of Louisiana announced today the unsealing of a federal grand jury indictment against five members of a heroin trafficking network operating in the St. Roch neighborhood of New Orleans.  As detailed below, the indictment charges the defendants with serious drug trafficking offenses. 

  • Miguel L. Joseph, also known as “Pretty,” age 29, of New Orleans, Louisiana, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin; distribution of heroin; unlawful use of a communications facility; and forfeiture. 

  • Edward Lawrence, also known as “Burger,” age 32, of New Orleans, Louisiana, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin; distribution of heroin; unlawful use of a communications facility; and forfeiture.

  • Vantrell Toomer, age 44, of Houston, Texas, and New Orleans, Louisiana, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin; possession with intent to distribute heroin; and forfeiture.

  • Michelle Marie Jefferson, age 31, of New Orleans, Louisiana, is charged with charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin; unlawful use of a communications facility; and forfeiture.

  • Danielle Denise Taylor, age 42, of New Orleans, Louisiana, is charged with charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin; and forfeiture.

 

United States Attorney Green stated:  “Our office, together with the FBI and our other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, will aggressively pursue those who contribute to the heroin epidemic raging across our communities and country.  I greatly appreciate the dedication of the agents and prosecutors working on this important matter.”

FBI New Orleans Division Special Agent-in-Charge Jeff Sallet stated: “The FBI and the people of New Orleans will not tolerate the scourge of gang activity including narcotics distribution and violence which accompanies this behavior.  The New Orleans Gang Task Force is committed to bringing those involved in this illegal behavior to justice and dismantling criminal organizations we encounter during the course of our investigations.”

This matter is being investigated by the FBI New Orleans Division's Gang Task Force, with the assistance of the New Orleans Police Department, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, and the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office.  This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Cam T. Le and Ryan Rezaei of the Middle District of Louisiana, who are serving as Special Attorneys to the United States Attorney General. 

NOTE: An indictment is an accusation by the Grand Jury.  The defendants are presumed innocent until and unless adjudicated guilty at trial or through a guilty plea.

Topic: 
Drug Trafficking
Updated May 23, 2016