BATON ROUGE, LA – United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today the conviction of a defendant charged in connection with an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation targeting a drug trafficking network based in Baton Rouge and operating in Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement uncovered an illegal dog fighting operation. Numerous defendants were charged with significant drug trafficking offenses involving cocaine, marijuana and heroin, as well as violations of the Federal Animal Welfare Act.
Today, COREY T. BROWN a.k.a. “Black,” age 31, of Baton Rouge, appeared before Chief Judge Shelly Dick and pled guilty to his role in the drug trafficking network. Brown pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 46.5 grams of heroin, 28.5 grams of cocaine and 28.35 grams of marijuana, and one count of possession with the intent to distribute heroin. BROWN also plead guilty to violating the Federal Animal Welfare Act, for his part in a multi-state dog fighting operation.
On July 2, 2018, Eric Lashawn Williams, a.k.a. “E” and “EZ,” age 35, of Baton Rouge, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 46.5 grams of heroin, 285 grams of cocaine and 28.35 grams of marijuana, one count of the unlawful use of a communication facility, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. WILLIAMS also pled guilty to a Bill of Information charging him with violating the Federal Animal Welfare Act by possession of animals in animal fighting ventures.
On July 17, 2018, MARCO MURPHY, a.k.a. “Big Daddy,” age 34, of Baton Rouge, appeared before Judge Shelly Dick and pled guilty to his role in the drug trafficking network. Murphy pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 28 grams of cocaine and 28 grams of marijuana, and one count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana.
On August 1, 2018, ED WILLIAMS JR., a.k.a. “Cooter,” age 31, of Baton Rouge, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, and one count of distribution of heroin.
Because of their guilty pleas, each defendant faces a significant term of imprisonment, fines, and the forfeiture of proceeds from their illegal activity.
According to documents filed in connection with the guilty pleas, ERIC WILLIAMS along with BROWN were the organizers and leaders of a drug trafficking organization (DTO) responsible for the distribution of cocaine, marijuana and heroin in the Valley Park neighborhood of Baton Rouge. MURPHY and WILLIAMS JR. were distributors in the organization.
During the investigation into the drug trafficking, law enforcement agents became aware that WILLIAMS and BROWN were also involved in an illegal dog-fighting operation. Law enforcement intercepted WILLIAMS, BROWN and others over numerous telephone conversations regarding the results of dogfights in states including Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi, future fights, the stakes (cash) wagers on upcoming fights, as well as the breeding, sale, and training of dogs for dogfighting.
On August 24, 2017, law enforcement agents conducted a search at two residences in Baton Rouge and seized 13 pit bull dogs related to dog-fighting activities. The dogs belonged to the defendant WILLIAMS and five were located at a residence owned by BROWN.
U.S. Attorney Fremin stated, “The good people of Valley Park don’t deserve, nor do they want, people like these defendants in their neighborhood selling drugs and using the proceeds to fight dogs for sport. We are glad to bring this organization to justice. This is yet another victory in the fight to rid our streets of wrongdoers.”
This investigation is another effort by the OCDETF Program, which was established in 1982 to mount a comprehensive attack against organized drug traffickers. Today, the OCDETF Program is the centerpiece of the United States Attorney General’s drug strategy to reduce the availability of drugs by disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, money laundering organizations, and related criminal enterprises. The OCDETF Program operates nationwide and combines the resources and unique expertise of numerous federal, state, and local agencies in a coordinated attack against major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.
This OCDETF operation is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana and the FBI Baton Rouge Capitol Area Gang Task Force. This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lyman E. Thornton III.
SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on Friday, August 10, 2018.