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Justice News

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

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Church Point Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Possession of Cocaine

LAKE CHARLES, La. Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that Elton J. Richard, III, 44, of Church Point, Louisiana, was sentenced today. United States District Judge James D. Cain, Jr. sentenced Richard to 57 months (4 years, 9 months) in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Richard pleaded guilty on June 11, 2020.

During the early morning hours of September 22, 2018, a Lake Charles Police Department officer conducted a traffic stop of a tow truck being driven by Richard on Interstate 10. The officer’s K-9 partner conducted an open-air sniff around the tow truck and alerted to the odor of narcotics coming from the tow truck. A search of the vehicle revealed a suitcase in the backseat containing 27 large bundles wrapped with electric tape. The officer also observed a loose white powdery substance on the outside of some of the bundles and suspected it to be cocaine. Richard was arrested and taken into custody. Subsequent lab tests revealed that each of the 27 bundles contained one-kilogram each of cocaine.

The DEA and Lake Charles Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert C. Abendroth prosecuted the case.

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Drug Trafficking
Updated November 5, 2020