WDLA News Round-Up for March 3, 2021
Defendants Sentenced on Firearms and Drug Charges
SHREVEPORT/MONROE, La. - Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced the resolution of numerous cases today in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Louisiana, all of which are listed below.
SENTENCING HEARINGS – SHREVEPORT, LA
Alexander Baker, 24, and Brandon Brown, 29, both of Shreveport, were sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks, Jr. for their role in two robberies that took place in Shreveport in November 2018. Alexander Baker pleaded guilty on August 11, 2020 to robbery and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and was sentenced today to 114 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release. Brandon Brown pleaded guilty on July 14, 2020 to conspiracy to use, carry, brandish and discharge firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence and was sentenced to 84 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release.
- The first robbery occurred on November 21, 2018 when Brandon Brown and his co-defendants entered the Top Dollar Pawn on St. Vincent Avenue in Shreveport, dressed in black hoodies, gloves, wearing clown masks, and armed with handguns. They ordered the store clerks to the floor, opened the register and took cash out. One of the clerks was then forced at gunpoint to open the counter where they also stole 18 pistols, a revolver, and a shotgun, as well as jewelry.
- The second robbery occurred on November 27, 2018, when Alexander Baker and another co-defendant entered the Petro Gas Station on West Bert Kouns in Shreveport with the intent to rob the store using firearms. The two men entered the store wearing all dark clothing, covered faces and both were armed with semi-automatic handguns, and demanded money from the cashier. They told the cashier to open the vault, but she did not have access to it. Baker and his co-defendant then ran out the side door and got into a parked vehicle driven by Brandon Brown and drove away.
The ATF and Shreveport Police Department conducted the investigations and Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Aaron Crawford prosecuted the case.
Deangilo Dillard, 34, of Shreveport, was sentenced to 36 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. On May 2, 2018, Shreveport Police Department officers encountered Dillard who was seated in the driver’s seat of a vehicle in a parking lot on East 70th Street in Shreveport. During the encounter, officers saw in plain view a firearm tucked under Dillard’s leg. After further investigation, officers learned that Dillard was a convicted felon and therefore, it was unlawful for him to possess a firearm. A federal grand jury indicted Dillard in July 2018 and he subsequently pleaded guilty to the charge. Dillard’s prior felony convictions are for: attempted possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (2016 and 2008); and possession with intent to distribute hydrocodone (2006). The ATF and Shreveport Police Department conducted the investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian C. Flanagan prosecuted the case. U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote presided at the sentencing hearing.
SENTENCING HEARINGS – MONROE
United States District Judge Terry A. Doughty sentenced the following individuals:
Lawrence Edward Holzer, III, 39, of West Monroe, was sentenced to 24 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for possession of firearms by a convicted felon. On August 15, 2019, Louisiana state parole agents conducted a routine residence check at Holzer’s home. As the agents stood outside Holzer’s front door, the observed a rifle inside a glass gun cabinet. When the agents went to retrieve the rifle, they found a pistol inside the same gun cabinet. After the agents advised Holzer of his rights, he admitted that he had placed a third gun, another rifle, underneath his bed. At the time of this offense, Holzer knew he was prohibited from possessing firearms as a parolee for a pair of felony burglary convictions in 2011 and 2014. The ATF and Louisiana Department of Probation and Parole conducted the investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Shannon prosecuted the case.
Patrick H. Anderson, 37, of West Monroe, was sentenced to 14 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for making a false statement in the record of a firearms dealer. Anderson visited Murphy’s Ammo and Firearms in West Monroe on June 28, 2018 and completed ATF Form 4473, to purchase a firearm. The form asked whether Anderson was subject to a court order restraining him from harassing or threatening an intimate partner. Anderson answered “no” to this question, knowing that to be false, as he had a restraining order pending against him in Ouachita Parish. The ATF conducted the investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Leon H. Whitten prosecuted the case.
The cases listed above are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. PSN is part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime. To learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods, go to www.justice.gov/psn.
Meshach Demontez Conley, 30, of Winnfield, Louisiana, was sentenced to 38 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, for distribution of methamphetamine. Law enforcement agents received information from a confidential source that Conley was selling methamphetamine. On February 25, 2019, the confidential source arranged a meeting with Conley to purchase methamphetamine. Agents conducted physical surveillance of the meeting and the transaction was recorded. The methamphetamine purchased from Conley was taken to a lab for chemical analysis and was determined to be pure methamphetamine. The FBI, Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office, Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office and Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cytheria D. Jernigan and Jessica D. Cassidy prosecuted the case.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
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