Five individuals from Louisiana were indicted by a grand jury on Tuesday for narcotics and firearms-related offences. The indictment comes after a long federal investigation into a drug trafficking network based in Plaquemine, Louisiana.
The five indicted individuals are Larry Hughes, 60, Eric J Curtis, 43, J. Brock, Jr., 54, Malcolm J. Jackson, 47— all of whom are from Baton Rouge, Louisiana — and Shaheed Thompson, 33, from Plaquemine, Louisiana.
All the indicted are from Lousiana
All the five have been charged with 'conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and 28 grams or more of cocaine base'. In addition to the drug charges, Hughes has been charged with 'possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offence'. Jackson has been charged for the same, along with 'felon in possession of a firearm'.
Coordinated efforts between federal and local law enforcement
After announcing the indictment, Brandon J Fremin, US Attorney, stressed that the indictment was a result of the coordinated efforts between federal and local law enforcement agencies. "This indictment is another example of how coordinated efforts between federal and local law enforcement can remove organized drug traffickers from our streets and protect our communities from their poisonous products," he said in a statement.
Bryan A. Vorndran, Special Agent in Charge, FBI New Orleans Division, stated that "a significant amount of illegal narcotics and weapons are off the streets" due to the joint investigation between the FBI Baton Rouge Capital Area Gang Task Force, Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshal's Service, and East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office.
He further added that the FBI was committed to upholding the welfare and public safety across all communities, irrespective of whether it was a large city or a small town like Plaquemine.
The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program that was established in 1982 to combat organized drug trafficking, played an important role in the investigation and indictment of the drug trafficking ring.