Leader of Valley Street Drug Trafficking Network Sentenced to 70 Months
United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced that U.S. District Chief Judge Shelly D. Dick sentenced ERIC LASHAWN WILLIAMS, a.k.a. “E” and “EZ,” age 35, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to 70 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
On July 2, 2018, Williams, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 46.5 grams of heroin, 285 grams of cocaine and 28.35 grams of marijuana, one count of the unlawful use of a communication facility, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. WILLIAMS also pled guilty to a Bill of Information charging him with violating the Federal Animal Welfare Act by possession of animals in animal fighting ventures.
WILLIAMS was the organizer and leader of a drug trafficking organization (DTO) responsible for the distribution of cocaine, marijuana and heroin in the Valley Park neighborhood of Baton Rouge.
During the investigation into WILLIAMS’ drug trafficking, law enforcement agents became aware that WILLIAMS was also involved in an illegal dog-fighting operation. Law enforcement intercepted WILLIAMS and others over numerous telephone conversations regarding the results of dogfights in states including Louisiana, Arkansas, and Georgia, future fights, the stakes (cash) wagers on upcoming fights, as well as the breeding, sale, and training of dogs for dogfighting.
On August 24, 2017, law enforcement agents conducted a search at two residences in Baton Rouge and seized 13 pit bull dogs. The dogs belonged to the defendant WILLIAMS and were related to dog-fighting activities.
U.S. Attorney Fremin stated, “The honest, law abiding people in the Valley Park community can sleep well tonight knowing that a convicted felon who possessed firearms and sold deadly drugs in their neighborhood is behind bars. This sentence should serve as a reminder to those who engage in criminal wrongdoing that we will not tolerate such behavior in our community. I am grateful to our prosecutors and staff along with the FBI who worked tirelessly on this very important matter.”
This investigation is another effort by the 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, 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.
This OCDETF operation is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana and the FBI Baton Rouge Capitol Area Gang Task Force. This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lyman E. Thornton III.