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Press Release

Leader Of Drug Organization Sentenced To 27 Years In Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, LA – Acting United States Attorney Corey R. Amundson announced today that U.S. District Judge Shelly D. Dick sentenced Wilbert Mathes, 40, to twenty seven (27) years in federal prison, as the leader of a large scale drug trafficking network operating in the Baton Rouge region. Mathes was also ordered to forfeit to the United States $593,000, representing the drug proceeds generated during the conspiracy.


At the conclusion of a four-day jury trial on September 22, 2016, Mathes was convicted of conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and cocaine base, distribution of cocaine, possession with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine, and unlawful use of a communications facility.


The defendant and his seven co-conspirators were charged in a multi-count superseding indictment on October 29, 2015, with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and cocaine base, distribution of cocaine, possession of firearms by a convicted felon, unlawful use of communications facilities and forfeiture. The co-conspirators have previously been found guilty of the charges against them.


The investigation, deemed Operation Roadblock, was 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.


Acting U.S. Attorney Amundson stated, “My office, together with our federal, state, and local partners, will continue to focus our energies and resources on prosecuting the members of these large scale drug trafficking organizations to the full extent of the law. These organizations must be eradicated to protect the citizens of Baton Rouge from the crime and violence associated with their operations.”


Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Brad L. Byerley stated, “The sentencing today of Wilbert Mathes sends a message to all who engage in the distribution of illegal drugs - we will work together to see that you are brought to justice. Federal and local law enforcement successfully collaborated in order to put Mathes in federal prison for 27 years as a result of his desire to supply the citizens of Baton Rouge with cocaine.”


This operation was handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Baton Rouge City Police Department, East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). This matter was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Kleinpeter, who also serves as a Deputy Criminal Chief, and Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Thornhill.

Updated June 21, 2017

Drug Trafficking