Federal Jury Convicts Remaining Two Members of Large Scale Drug Trafficking Organization On All Counts
United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today that a federal jury has unanimously convicted DEMITORIS “Big Tachi” ALEXANDER, age 52, of Gonzales and COLIN KNOX, age 39, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on all charges following a six-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Shelly D. Dick, including numerous narcotics trafficking charges related to their significant roles in a large-scale and violent drug trafficking organization. Both defendants face a mandatory minimum of 20 years imprisonment and up to life imprisonment.
The evidence at trial demonstrated that ALEXANDER led a large-scale cocaine distribution organization in Ascension Parish that obtained cocaine from Houston, Texas, for distribution in Ascension Parish, Baton Rouge and elsewhere. ALEXANDER recruited female couriers to travel to Houston in vehicles with aftermarket secret compartments to transport money to Houston and cocaine from Houston. For example, one such courier, Andrea Rumore, transported 18 kilograms of cocaine from Houston on behalf of ALEXANDER when law enforcement stopped her vehicle in Port Allen, Louisiana. The evidence at trial also reflected that, during the spring and summer of 2013, ALEXANDER obtained and distributed over 350 kilograms of cocaine to others, including Kelly Williams.
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 Williams and the organization. For example, on at least two occasions in 2013, KNOX attempted to locate and harm others that were involved in disputes with Williams.
ALEXANDER and KNOX are the final two 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.
United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin stated, “These convictions, which included the leader of a multi-kilogram cocaine trafficking group and an ‘enforcer’ involved in a chilling murder plot and other violence, deliver a devastating blow to the heart of a violent drug trafficking organization that was responsible for spreading significant amounts of cocaine and other illegal drugs throughout our district. Every community and every person deserves peace, security, and freedom from the tyranny of violent drug traffickers. The combined federal, state, and local effort, which resulted in the conviction of 38 members of this organization, reflects once again the unified front against drug dealers and violent offenders in this district. I greatly appreciate the tremendous dedication and hard work by the agents, prosecutors, and support staff working on this important matter.”
DEA Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Brad L. Byerley stated, “These convictions send a clear message that drug traffickers operating in the Middle District of Louisiana will be held accountable for their crimes. DEA, in conjunction with our state and local law enforcement partners, will continue to work together to keep our nation, state, and community safe.”
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 Attorneys Jennifer Kleinpeter and Adam Ptashkin.