One New Orleans Man Pleads Guilty, Two Others Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Prison in Heroin Conspiracy
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that TREY MITCHELL, age 23, pled guilty today to attempted distribution of heroin, while co-defendants TERRELL DAVIS, age 24, and PERCY DEPRON, age 28, all of New Orleans, were sentenced for conspiracy to distribute heroin.
U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt sentenced DAVIS to 151 months in prison, five years of supervised release following his prison term, and a $100 special assessment. DEPRON was sentenced to 121 months in prison, five years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.
According to court documents, the investigation of this trafficking organization included multiple court-authorized wiretaps by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) 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.
According to the record, in July 2013, a court-authorized wiretap of the ‘dope’ phone used by defendant TERENCE 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 defendant MALCOLM BOLDEN subsequently met with the decedent to complete the sale. Judge Engelhardt sentenced BOLDEN to 25 years in prison in June.
Court documents also show that TAYLOR’s brother, TREY MITCHELL, had been selling heroin prior toMITCHELL’s state arrest and incarceration beginning in November 2012. At that point, TAYLOR took custody of a ‘dope’ phone formerly used by MITCHELL and began serving many of MITCHELL’s heroin customers. MITCHELL also attempted to direct heroin sales from jail through the use of cellular phones that had been smuggled into the jail. Some of these telephone calls over MITCHELL’s smuggled jail cell phone were intercepted during the court-authorized wiretap investigation of TAYLOR.
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 U.S. Attorneys Michael B. Redmann and Mark A. Miller are in charge of the prosecution.