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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 4, 2021

Two Drug Traffickers Sentenced in Federal Court

Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that two men were sentenced today in the Western District of Louisiana on drug trafficking charges. The sentencing hearings took place in Shreveport and Lafayette, Louisiana.

El Paso Man Admits to Transporting Cocaine

SHREVEPORT, La. Martin Escalera, 28, of El Paso, Texas, was sentenced by United States District Judge Donald E. Walter to 240 months (20 years) in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

On February 17, 2020, Louisiana State Police stopped the vehicle Escalera was driving for a traffic violation. While the state trooper was checking his information, Escalera presented the trooper with the rental agreement for the vehicle. After reviewing the agreement, the trooper found that Escalera was not listed on the rental as a driver. Escalera gave law enforcement officers consent to search the vehicle and during the search, they found multiple kilogram sized packages of cocaine. Esclera admitted that the packages contained cocaine and that he was transporting them. He plead guilty to the charge on September 24, 2020.

The DEA and Louisiana State Police conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tennille M. Gilreath prosecuted the case.

New Iberia Man to Serve 10 Years in Prison

LAFAYETTE, La. Alfonzo JohnLouis, 42, of New Iberia, Louisiana, was sentenced by United States District Judge Jay C. Zainey to 120 months (10 years) in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

On November 3, 2017, while preparing to deliver mail, a postal employee had three packages that were addressed to one particular address in Lafayette, Louisiana, and were shipped from Los Angeles, California. As the postal carrier picked up the box to make the delivery, their thumb slipped into a hole on the side of the box and felt a plastic bag inside which led them to believe there may be some form of illegal drugs in the box. Law enforcement was contacted and a K-9 with the Lafayette Metro Narcotics Unit alerted on each of the three packages. A search warrant was obtained and law enforcement officers found a combined 18 pounds of methamphetamine in the three boxes. JohnLouis has three prior felony drug convictions from 2001 and 2007. He admitted that the packages were meant for him and pleaded guilty to the charge in the federal indictment on September 8, 2020.

The FBI and Lafayette Metro Narcotics Unit conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Luke Walker prosecuted the case.

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Updated February 4, 2021