United States Attorney and Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Partners Announce Charges in Largest Narcotics Prosecution in District History
United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today that a lengthy federal investigation into an extensive drug trafficking network based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana has resulted in the return of three grand jury indictments charging forty-one (41) separate individuals in more than 80 counts with narcotics and firearms-related offenses. As discussed in more detail below, the defendants are charged with conspiring to possess and distribute methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and cocaine base, and several of the defendants are charged with possessing firearms in furtherance of their drug trafficking activities. If convicted, the defendants face significant terms of imprisonment, significant fines, restitution, and forfeiture.
The indictments are the product of a long-term investigation led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), as part of the Middle District Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Task Force (OCDETF). The investigation has received invaluable assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Baton Rouge City Police Department, and the Louisiana State Police. Other agencies also assisted in apprehending the defendants, including the U.S. Marshal’s Service, and the Sheriffs’ Offices in Ascension, Iberville, and West Baton Rouge Parishes.
United States v. Travis R. James et al., Criminal No. 18-21-SDD-RLB
In the first case, the grand jury has charged fifteen (15) defendants, including TRAVIS R. JAMES, TROY L. JAMES, HARRIS HAMPTON, III, JOSHUA J. MANSION, SIDNEY L. JARVIS, D’MARI D. HARDING, KIM K. MURPHY, YASCIA N. LAFRANCE, CARL W. RICHARD, JR., MELVIN A. JACOBS, MICHAEL D. NELSON, ANTHONY DUPARD, CORNELIUS J. CARTER, COREY L. KING, and BRIAN W. HOLLINGSWORTH. All of the defendants are residents of Louisiana, with most residing in the Baton Rouge area, with the exception of KING and HOLLINGSWORTH, who are residents of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
The defendants face twenty-eight (28) counts, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, cocaine base, and heroin; possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; distribution of cocaine and cocaine base; possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and the unlawful use of communication facilities in facilitating the commission of the drug trafficking crimes referenced above.
United States v. James C. Hull et al., Criminal No. 18-22-JWD-EWD
In the second case, the grand jury has charged five defendants, including JAMES C. HULL, BYRON A. LAWSON, HENRY J. HAYES, DARIUSS SPRIVEY, and BRIAN HERNANDEZ, all Baton Rouge residents. The defendants face twenty-one (21) counts, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine base; possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine base; distribution of heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine base; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and the unlawful use of communication facilities in facilitating the commission of the drug trafficking crimes referenced above.
United States v. Cody Stafford et al., Criminal No. 18-23-BAJ-EWD
In the third case, the grand jury has charged twenty-one (21) defendants, including CODY STAFFORD, DUSTIN HENDERSON, BEN HAMMET, SAM E. 0KINAMORE, BRITTANY P. YOUNG, WILLIAM W. LIPSCOMB, FRANK W. LIPSCOMB, ASHLEY L. IMPSON, SHANNON E. JOHNSON, SAMUEL RICHARDSON, BRIAN N. DANNA, HEATHER R. WEBBER, DALE ODOM, GREGORY A. LOLLIS, BRANDON S. KINAMORE, ROBERT T. SANDERS, JENNIFER LEVITE, JOBY V. LETARD, STACY TAYLOR, JOHNNY MASON, and SHAYLA T. PAYNE, all of Baton Rouge.
The Indictment includes thirty-four (34) counts, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine base; possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine; distribution of methamphetamine; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and the unlawful use of communication facilities in facilitating the commission of the drug trafficking crimes referenced above.
U.S. Attorney Fremin stated, “This office, along with our federal, state and local partners, will continue to aggressively pursue those who engage in the illegal trafficking of drugs in our district. This type of behavior destroys our communities and the lives of our people one deal at a time and it will not be tolerated. These indictments send a strong message to those who continue to poison our communities that we will not sit idly by while you conduct business.”
The investigation is yet 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.
These ongoing investigations are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Piedrahita and Cal Leipold, with valuable assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Sanchez, Brad Casey, and Elizabeth White.
NOTE: An indictment is an accusation by the Grand Jury. The defendants are presumed innocent until and unless adjudicated guilty at trial or through a guilty plea.