United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today that a lengthy federal investigation into an extensive drug trafficking network based in Plaquemine, Louisiana, has resulted in the return of a grand jury indictment charging five (5) individuals with narcotics and firearms-related offenses. As discussed in more detail below, the defendants are charged with conspiring to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base and some of the defendants are charged with firearm-related offenses.
The charged defendants are listed below, and each faces significant terms of imprisonment, fines, and the forfeiture of proceeds from the illegal activity:
U.S. Attorney Brandon J. Fremin stated, “This indictment is another example of how coordinated efforts between federal and local law enforcement can remove organized drug traffickers from our streets and protect our communities from their poisonous products. I want to thank our prosecutor, the FBI Capitol Area Gang Task Force, the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office, along with ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshal’s Service, and East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office for their tremendous work on this case.”
FBI New Orleans Division Special Agent in Charge Bryan A. Vorndran stated, “Whether in a major city, or a small town like Plaquemine, the FBI is focused on public safety and the welfare of our communities. As a result of this joint investigation between the FBI Baton Rouge Capital Area Gang Task Force, Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshal’s Service, and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, a significant amount of illegal narcotics and weapons are off the streets. The FBI New Orleans Field Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate drug and gang activity, as well as violent crime affecting our Louisiana neighborhoods.”
Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi stated, “I’m very proud of our partnership with U.S. Attorney Fremin. When he took office he made a commitment to join me in protecting the people of Iberville Parish. This indictment is another great step in fulfilling that promise. We look forward to future activities between our offices.”
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Baton Rouge Capitol Area Gang Task Force and the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jamie A. Flowers, Jr.
The investigation that led to this indictment 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.
NOTE: An indictment is an accusation by a grand jury. The defendants are presumed innocent until and unless adjudicated guilty at trial or through a guilty plea.