Heroin Trafficker Convicted Of Distributing More Than Five Kilograms Of Heroin In Operation Dirty Bird
BATON ROUGE, LA – Acting United States Attorney Corey Amundson announced the conviction of a multi-kilogram heroin trafficker from Ascension Parish who distributed more than five kilograms of heroin between February and April of 2016. Jason Muse pled guilty to 20 counts of a federal indictment charging him and 17 others in Operation Dirty Bird, an extensive federal, state, and local investigation aimed at dismantling a large scale heroin trafficking network based in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, and Houston, Texas.
On July 11, 2017, Jason Muse, age 37, formerly of Prairieville, Louisiana, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin, two counts of distribution of heroin, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and 16 counts of unlawful use of a communications facility in committing distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin.
As Muse acknowledged during his guilty plea, beginning in September 22, 2015, and continuing until April of 2016, he conspired with others to obtain and distribute large quantities of heroin. Specifically, Muse admitted to obtaining a half of a kilogram of heroin on February 10, 2016, and kilograms of heroin on February 23, 2016, March 6, 2016, March 20, 2016, and March 25, 2016. Muse further admitted to possessing on April 1, 2016, in his residence in Prairieville, heroin for distribution, a loaded Smith and Wesson .40 caliber pistol, two digital scales, a money counter, and a metal hydraulic press and also possessing in the trunk of his 2007 Mercedes CLS550, $109,306 in drug proceeds, additional heroin, crack cocaine, oxycodone and four handguns.
Muse faces a mandatory sentence of not less than 10 years or more than life for the drug conspiracy count [21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1)] and an additional mandatory sentence of not less than five years or more than life for the firearm possession in furtherance of the drug trafficking conspiracy [18 U.S.C. § 924(c)], for a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years to life.
Acting U.S. Attorney Amundson stated, “Every community and every person deserves peace, security, and freedom from the tyranny of armed drug traffickers. This is one of the many reasons that drug trafficking is, and will continue to be, a top priority for my office and the U.S. Department of Justice. I commend the diligent and outstanding efforts of all the prosecutors and agents who have worked on this important matter.”
This investigation is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Baton Rouge City Police Department, the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office, the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana State Police, and the Gonzales Police Department. This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Kleinpeter, who also serves as a deputy criminal chief.