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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 7, 2018

Leader of Large Scale Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to Life in Prison

United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today that U.S. District Judge Shelly D. Dick sentenced DEMITORIS “Big Tachi” ALEXANDER, age 52, of Gonzales, to life in prison.  The defendant was convicted on all charges related to his role as the leader of a large-scale and violent drug trafficking organization following a six-day jury trial in March.  ALEXANDER was also ordered to forfeit $6,600,000 in proceeds from illegal drug trafficking. 

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 placed all of the orders with the source of supply in Houston.  ALEXANDER also recruited female couriers to travel to Houston in vehicles with aftermarket secret compartments to transport money to Houston and cocaine from Houston.  ALEXANDER then oversaw the pricing and distribution of all the cocaine in Louisiana and controlled a network of drug traffickers to enact his orders.  The evidence at trial also reflected that, during the spring and summer of 2013, ALEXANDER obtained and distributed hundreds of kilograms of cocaine to others.  

ALEXANDER was one of 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.  ALEXANDER’S co-defendant at trial, COLIN Y. KNOX, who was also convicted on all charges, is scheduled to be sentenced on June 14,  2018.  KNOX faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years.

United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin stated, “Today’s life sentence comes as great news for the safety and security of our communities and reflects the harsh consequences that await violent drug traffickers in the Middle District of Louisiana.  As the leader of a large-scale and violent drug trafficking organization, this defendant spent years wreaking havoc in the lives of many throughout our district, fairly earning him the punishment he received today.  I commend the outstanding efforts of the many agents and prosecutors who worked diligently on this important matter.”

DEA Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Brad L. Byerley stated, “Our neighborhoods deserve to exist without fear and intimidation inflicted by violent drug trafficking organizations.  This sentencing should serve as a warning and send a clear message that we will relentlessly pursue violent criminals as well as the drug traffickers plaguing our communities and bring them to justice.”

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.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated June 7, 2018