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Press Release

Six Defendants Receive Federal Prison Sentences This Week for Drug Distribution and Federal Firearms Offenses; Two Plead Guilty for Illegal Possession of Firearms

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana

SHREVEPORT, MONROE, La. – United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced six defendants from Shreveport and the surrounding area were sentenced this week and two Monroe residents pleaded guilty for drug distribution and federal firearms offenses. The firearms cases were brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone.

Three Men Sentenced in Methamphetamine-Trafficking Conspiracy

SHREVEPORT, La. – David C. Joseph, United States Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana announced that three men responsible for trafficking methamphetamine in the Caddo Parish area have been sentenced to serve time in federal prison.

George Alan Highsmith, 48, of Shreveport, pleaded guilty on July 23, 2019, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Jeffrey Scott Holder, 52, of Stonewall, Louisiana, and David Tilden Byrd, 45, of Doyline, Louisiana, admitted their guilt on July 2, 2019 and July 22, 2019, respectively. Both men acknowledged their roles in the conspiracy with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Today, Chief United States District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. sentenced Highsmith to serve 11 years in prison, to be followed by a five-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison. On December 9, 2019, Judge Hicks ordered Holder to serve 115 months (9 years, 7 months) in prison, and on December 10, 2019, sentenced Byrd to five years in prison. Both received five years of supervised release.

The sentencings were the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) after learning that Byrd, Highsmith and Holder were distributors of methamphetamine in the Caddo Parish area.  Holder was supplied by Highsmith; Byrd and Highsmith often collaborated to distribute the meth. On November 6, 2018, the DEA and Louisiana State Police organized a controlled telephone call between Byrd and Highsmith, during which Highsmith agreed to purchase seven ounces of methamphetamine from Byrd at the Horseshoe Casino Hotel parking garage. When Highsmith arrived to meet Byrd, he was taken into custody.  

After Highsmith’s arrest, he consented to a search of his hotel room where agents found 29.8 grams of pure methamphetamine, a drug scale, a Sig Saur 9mm semi-automatic handgun with one round of ammunition in the chamber and 12 additional rounds in the magazine, an additional 9mm magazine containing 10 rounds of ammunition found inside an open safe located in the hotel room closet, and $1,970 in drug proceed money. Highsmith admitted that the 29.8 grams of meth was what remained of five ounces of meth he received from Byrd on November 5, 2018. The investigation revealed that Highsmith and Byrd’s source of supply was an individual in the Dallas, Texas, area.

On November 6, 2018, Louisiana State Police initiated a stop on Byrd’s vehicle for a traffic violation. Byrd consented to a search of his vehicle and troopers found approximately 475 grams of pure methamphetamine, syringes, two metal bowls, and a drug scale hidden above the rear fender of the pickup truck. Byrd admitted to purchasing one kilogram of methamphetamine from his north Texas supplier on November 5, 2018 for $7,600 and that he had purchased approximately three kilograms of methamphetamine from the same supplier from August 2018 until his arrest. 

Holder was arrested on October 23, 2018, by a DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop of his vehicle that produced 122.69 grams of pure methamphetamine found in a black bag on the back floorboard.

The DEA, Louisiana State Police, Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Shreveport Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown prosecuted the case.

Two Shreveport Felons Sentenced for Illegally Possessing Firearms

SHREVEPORT, La. – Lequinton Jerry, 25, and Omar Williams, 28, both of Shreveport, were sentenced on December 12, 2019, for illegal possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney David C. Joseph.

According to information presented to the court, on June 7, 2018, Bossier Parish Sheriff’s deputies stopped Omar Williams’ vehicle for a traffic violation. During a search of the vehicle, officers found a Pioneer Arms, Model PPS43C, 9x19-caliber pistol in the trunk of the car and a Glock, Model 23, .40-caliber pistol underneath the front passenger seat. Williams told officers, “I know I am a convicted felon and not supposed to be in possession of a firearm,” and “I own the gun that was found in the trunk. I don’t own the other gun they found in the car.” The other gun was owned by Lequinton Jerry, the sole passenger sitting in the front seat, who was also in possession of matching .40-caliber ammunition inside his pants pocket.

At sentencing, Chief U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. ordered Lequinton Jerry to 21 months in prison, and Omar Williams to 51 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for each. Both defendants pleaded guilty to these charges on August 26, 2019.

It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess firearms or ammunition. Omar Williams previously pleaded guilty on June 16, 2014, to attempted illegal possession of weapons while in possession of controlled dangerous substances. Lequinton Jerry previously pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled dangerous substance (Alprazolam) on September 28, 2016.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cadesby B. Cooper prosecuted the case.

Shreveport Man Sentenced for Drug Distribution, Federal Firearms Offense

SHREVEPORT, La. United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that Roger W. Shepard, 32, of Shreveport, was sentenced December 10, 2019, by Chief U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr., to two years in prison for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and five years in prison for possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, to run consecutively. Judge Hicks also sentenced Roger Shepard to three years of court supervision after he is released from federal prison. Shepard pleaded guilty to these charges on July 31, 2019.

According to information presented to the court, on November 19, 2018, a Shreveport police officer responded to a complaint at the Sportran/Greyhound bus terminal. When the officer arrived, he saw Shepard in an argument with another individual and discovered that he was in possession of a Hi-Point .40-caliber pistol tucked into his waistband, a loaded magazine in his front pocket, and 43 individually wrapped packages of cocaine, totaling approximately 10 grams, which he intended to deliver to a third party.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Shreveport Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth D. Reeg prosecuted the case.

Two Monroe Felons Plead Guilty to Federal Firearms Charge

Nanderrious Thomas

MONROE, La. United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that Nanderrious Thomas, 22, of Monroe, pleaded guilty today, before U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty to felon in possession of a firearm.

According to documents filed with the court, Monroe Police Department officers were conducting an active warrant canvas on November 16, 2018, when they spotted Nanderrious Thomas, who had outstanding felony warrants. Thomas fled when he saw the officers and crawled under an abandoned house. Immediately after he was apprehended, a detective recovered a loaded Smith & Wesson, Model SD.40 VE, semi-automatic handgun from underneath the house, and 14 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition - one round in the chamber and 13 rounds in the magazine.

Thomas has a prior felony conviction in Ouachita Parish for aggravated battery. Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of a firearm or ammunition.

Nanderrious Thomas will be sentenced by Judge Doughty on April 1, 2020, and faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), U.S. Marshal’s Service, and Monroe Police Department conducted the investigation. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle A. Thompson is prosecuting the case.

Rodriguez Dewayne Cobbs

MONROE, La. United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that Rodriguez Dewayne Cobbs, 27, of Monroe, pleaded guilty today, before U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty to felon in possession of a firearm.

According to documents filed with the court, on January 21, 2019, Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s deputies arrested Cobbs following a traffic stop of his vehicle. During the course of the traffic stop, Cobbs informed the officer that he had a gun in his right front jacket pocket. Officers retrieved a Smith & Wesson, Model SD.40 VE, semi-automatic handgun loaded with one round in the chamber and 13 rounds in the magazine, and a Glock .9mm magazine lying on the front passenger seat, loaded with two rounds.

Cobbs has prior felony convictions in Ouachita and Caddo Parishes for attempted possession of codeine, simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling. It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess firearms or ammunition.

Rodriguez Cobbs will be sentenced by Judge Doughty on April 1, 2020, and faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s office conducted the investigation. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle A. Thompson is prosecuting the case.

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Updated December 13, 2019

Topics
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods