BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The leader of a large scale drug trafficking network that operated in the Baton Rouge area was sentenced to 27 years in prison Tuesday.
Acting U.S. Attorney Corey Amundson says Wilbert Mathes, 40, was sentenced and also ordered to forfeit $593,000 worth of drug proceeds generated during the conspiracy.
After the four-day trial concluded on September 22, 2016, Mathes was convicted of conspiracy to distribute more than 500g of cocaine and cocaine base, distribution of cocaine, possession with the intent to distribute more than 500g of cocaine, and unlawful use of a communications facility.
Officials say Mathes and his seven co-conspirators were all charged on October 29, 2015 with the following:
- Conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 500g or more of cocaine and cocaine base
- Distribution of cocaine
- Possession of firearms by a convicted felon
- Unlawful use of communication facilities
The co-conspirators were previously found guilty on the charges brought against them.
The investigation, called Operation Roadblock, was another effort by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, which was started in 1982 to take down organized drug traffickers.
"My office, together with our federal, state, and local partners, will continue to focus our energies and resources on prosecuting the members of these large scale drug trafficking organizations to the full extent of the law. These organizations must be eradicated to protect the citizens of Baton Rouge from the crime and violence associated with their operations," said Amundson.
"The sentencing today of Wilbert Mathes sends a message to all who engage in the distribution of illegal drugs - we will work together to see that you are brought to justice. Federal and local law enforcement successfully collaborated in order to put Mathes in federal prison for 27 years as a result of his desire to supply the citizens of Baton Rouge with cocaine," said DEA special-agent-in-charge, Brad Byerly.