New Orleans Man Sentenced to 27 Years in Heroin Conspiracy Involving Overdose Death
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that TERENCE TAYLOR, age 37, a resident of New Orleans, was sentenced today for distributing heroin that resulted in an overdose death and for conspiring to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin in the New Orleans area.
U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt sentenced TAYLOR to 324 months in prison, five years of supervised release following his prison term, and a $200 special assessment. The judge projected a picture of the victim onto the wall of the courtroom during the sentencing, and the victim’s mother read aloud a letter that she had prepared.
According to court documents, the investigation of this trafficking organization included multiple court-authorized wiretaps by the Drug Enforcement Administration New Orleans Police Department High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area group, including taps of cell phones used by dealers to communicate with suppliers, other co-conspirators, and customers. DEA worked together with agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct numerous undercover purchases of heroin, surveillance operations, searches, witness debriefings, records analyses, and other investigative techniques to uncover and dismantle the heroin trafficking activities of the group.
The investigation showed that the defendants had been using a residence in New Orleans East as a base of operations to meet with heroin suppliers, maintain a heroin stash, and provide heroin to other dealers.
Numerous daily heroin customers also called the ‘dope’ phones used by these defendants every day to order heroin. Typically one of the dealers would answer these calls, ask the caller how much heroin he or she wanted to buy, and direct the caller to drive to a gas station or other commercial location in the New Orleans East neighborhood. Through subsequent calls and then visual contact between the customer and dealer, the dealer would direct the customer to rendezvous in a parking lot or on a side street near the commercial location to conduct the heroin sale.
Additionally, court records indicate that, in July 2013, a court-authorized wiretap of the ‘dope’ phone used by defendant TAYLOR intercepted a series of calls relating to the sale of heroin to a person who had recently been through treatment for heroin addiction, and who died later that day as a result of a heroin overdose. Intercepted calls helped to demonstrate that TAYLOR negotiated this particular sale of heroin and that co-defendant MALCOLM BOLDEN subsequently met with the decedent to complete the sale.
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the DEA New Orleans Police Department High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area group, the FBI, and the ATF, with the assistance of the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office, the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office, and the Louisiana State Police in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael B. Redmann and Mark A. Miller are in charge of the prosecution.