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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 12, 2018

Federal Indictment Targets Multi-State Methamphetamine Operation

United States Attorney Brandon Fremin announced today the unsealing of a federal grand jury indictment arising from an extensive federal, state, and local criminal investigation into a multi-state methamphetamine drug organization operating in Ascension Parish and elsewhere.

The indictment charges eight individuals with various federal narcotics and weapons charges spanning from September 2014 through December 2016, including a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine throughout Ascension Parish.  If convicted, each defendant faces significant incarceration, fines, restitution, forfeiture, and supervised release following incarceration.

The following individuals are charged in the indictment:

  • EDWARD DANIEL BAROWSKY, a.k.a. “Ed,” age 49, of Glendale, Arizona, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, distribution of heroin, and three counts of distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

 

  •  FRANK H. ASHFORD, III, age 48, of Prairieville, Louisiana, is charged with possession with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. 

 

  • DWAYNE K. BRAUD, a.k.a. “Bandit,” age 40, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, distribution of 5 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

 

  •  JACEY E. BRAUD, age 37, of Gonzales, Louisiana, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

 

  •  RONALD COOPER, age 48, of St. Amant, Louisiana, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

 

  • CHELSEA M. SANFORD, age 26, of St. Amant, Louisiana, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

 

  •  DONALD RAY. SANFORD, age 40, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.

 

  •  JIMMY WHITE, age 33, of Amite City, Louisiana, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

 

United States Attorney Brandon Fremin stated, “Unfortunately the unprecedented number of drug overdoses in our country is not limited to opioids.  Methamphetamine overdose deaths are occurring at historic rates, with increasingly organized and efficient domestic and international operations fueling the surge by providing higher purities at lower prices.  We must and will aggressively pursue and meet the multi-pronged drug threats facing our communities.  I commend the outstanding efforts of the DEA, IRS-CI, the Ascension and Livingston Parish Sheriffs’ Offices, and my staff on this important matter.”

Brad L. Byerley, the Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Baton Rouge District Office stated, “Through remarkable partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement, we are making major progress in preventing methamphetamine trafficking from taking hold in our communities.  This investigation and these indictments are a compelling example of that success.” 

This operation was conducted as part of 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. 

This matter is being handed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana in conjunction with Drug Enforcement Administration, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie A. Flowers, Jr. is prosecuting the case.

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(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated April 12, 2018