SHREVEPORT, La. –United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that a Dallas woman was sentenced to 41 months in prison for her role in a cocaine conspiracy in Northwest Louisiana and Texas.
Ericka M. Ruffins, 41, of Dallas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote for one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. She was also sentenced to three years of supervised release. According to evidence presented at the June 12, 2014 guilty plea, Ruffins would transport cocaine for co-defendant Renando Johnson from Dallas to Shreveport for distribution in the Shreveport area. Ruffins was recorded in early 2013 discussing cocaine transactions and plans to transport cocaine. The investigation also revealed that Renando Johnson obtained 4 to 6 ounces of powder cocaine from Ruffins a week. It is estimated that she delivered approximately 1.7 kilos of powder cocaine from January to May of 2013.
Ruffins is the last of six defendants to be sentenced in this case. Renando Johnson was sentenced to 38 months in prison, Elijah Johnson was sentenced to 42 months in prison, Emmitt Williams IV was sentenced to 24 months in prison, and Eady J. Horton was sentenced to time served for one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine in June and July of 2014. Tracy Russell was sentenced to 15 months in prison on June 13, 2014 for one count of unlawful use of a communication facility. They were all sentenced to three years of supervised release.
The defendants were arrested as part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation code named “Hustle Hard.” The DEA, Louisiana State Police, Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office, Shreveport Police Department and Bossier City Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney James G. Cowles Jr. prosecuted the case.
The OCDETF program is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.