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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Joshual Hilton Sentenced to Federal Prison on Drug Trafficking and Gun Charges

United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today that U.S. Chief Judge Shelly D. Dick sentenced JOSHUAL HILTON, age 33, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to 384 months in federal prison following his convictions after a three-day jury trial in June 2018 for possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, marijuana, and promethazine, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.  The Court also sentenced HILTON to 10 years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment and ordered that the firearms be forfeited.

Evidence at trial showed that HILTON sold marijuana to an individual at his residence in September 2016, and thereafter the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant to search the defendant’s residence.  Prior to the search, law enforcement officers placed HILTON’s residence under surveillance.  Officers observed HILTON leave his residence in his automobile and proceed to meet with several individuals in the Sherwood Forest area and engage in what appeared to be drug transactions from his vehicle.  HILTON was observed returning to his residence and entering his house, only to leave again a short time later.  A marked unit attempted to stop HILTON; however, HILTON led officers on a high speed chase, exceeding 100 miles per hour in some places, running stop signs and passing vehicles on the shoulder in an attempt to elude arrest.  HILTON was observed throwing items out of his vehicle window, which were later recovered and determined to be three bottles of liquid promethazine.  HILTON abandoned his vehicle at a dead end street, but was later apprehended as he fled on foot.

Officers returned to HILTON’s residence and executed the search warrant.  During the search, officers located 1,948 grams of methamphetamine, over five pounds of marijuana, 22 bottles of liquid promethazine, a digital scale, $42,877 in drug proceeds, and a loaded Glock 23 .40 caliber pistol and magazine.  

U.S. Attorney Fremin stated, “This conviction and sentence should send a loud and clear message that our office will not tolerate unrepentant drug dealers who continue to sell dangerous drugs in our communities.  Enforcing our drug laws prevents addiction and violence from spreading and will continue to be a priority in this district. This operation could not have been a success without the efforts of our outstanding prosecution team, the ATF, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office and the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office.”

“The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office is proud of the partnership we have with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and appreciate their commitment to prosecute these cases on the federal level,” Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said. “We look forward to continuing working together to combat the drugs that plague our community.”

This conviction is part of Operation All in the Famm, an extensive federal, state, and local investigation aimed at dismantling a large scale drug trafficking network based in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. As a result of this operation, three individuals with significant drug trafficking, firearm, and conspiracy charges have been convicted.  Terrance Hilton pled guilty on April 2, 2019 to possession with the intent to distribute heroin and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  Damiene Lewis pled guilty on  April 19, 2018 to conspiracy to distribute cocaine, distribution of cocaine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.  Hilton faces a significant term of imprisonment, a fine, and a period of supervised release.

This operation is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office.  This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Kleinpeter, who also serves as a deputy criminal chief.

The investigation is another effort by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program that 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. 

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated April 10, 2019