New Orleans, LA-(ENEWSPF)- JOHN E. BAGENT, age 36, IZEAL DUCRE, a/k/a Ike, age 39, ROBERT EDWARDS, age 46, ROBBIE RAY, a/k/a Pookie, age 35, COURTNEY RAY, age 32, NOAH GALLIEN, a/k/a Chris Russell, age 56, WILLIE MELVIN JONES, a/k/a Konkalu, age 50, and JOHN GREEN, age 25, were charged in a 19-count indictment by a federal grand jury on Thursday, January 20, 2011 with conspiracy to distribute cocaine hydrochloride and cocaine base (crack), along with distribution of cocaine and crack and unlawful use of a communications facility (use of a phone to facilitate the drug conspiracy), announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to the indictment, beginning prior to February 10, 2010 until approximately September 29, 2010, all of the defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine hydrocholoride and 280 grams or more of crack cocaine. The indictment also charges BAGENT with 14 counts of distributing cocaine and crack and four counts of using a phone to facilitate the drug conspiracy; DUCRE and EDWARDS are charged with one count of distribution of crack and one count of using a phone to facilitate a drug conspiracy; and ROBBIE RAY is charged with two counts of distribution of crack and two counts of using a phone to facilitate a drug conspiracy. All eight defendants were arrested this morning.
If convicted, all defendants face a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, millions in fines and at least five years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Letten reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This investigation was initiated based upon a request for assistance by St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain. This investigation was conducted by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Slidell Police Department, Louisiana State Office of Probation and Parole, the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Marshals Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward J. Rivera.