US Attorney: 41 indicted in massive Baton Rouge area drug prosecution

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana announced the largest drug prosecution in the history of his office during a press conference in Baton Rouge Tuesday morning.

U.S. Attorney Brandon Fremin along with local law enforcement leaders announced that a grand jury indicted 41 people with over 80 counts of offenses involving drugs and firearms. Authorities say the arrests were made last week.

"This is not about filling jails. It is not about filling prisons. It's about assuring our communities and neighborhoods are safe," said Fremin.

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All but two of the defendants are from the Baton Rouge area. Those two defendants are from Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

According to the indictment, the middle district's organized crime and drug trafficking task force seized heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, firearms, luxury vehicles, and over a million dollars in drug-related proceeds.

One of the indictments noted during phone conversations and text messages, some of the suspects referred to cocaine by using words like girl, white girl, soft, and sugar bear. Code words used for crack cocaine were hard, boil, and boy. Words like brown, dog food, white, H, and whatcha-ma-call-it were allegedly used to refer to heroin. DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brad Byerley says the dope lead investigators to a big money trail.

"We are talking about a major drug trafficking organization and if you want to call it a gang, you can call it a gang. We look at this as a group of individuals whose purpose is to peddle dope on our streets," Fremin said during the news conference.

One of the people indicted is Southern University student and WAFB intern, D'Mari Harding.

According to one of the indictments, two of the suspects, Travis James, and D'Mari Harding were found in possession of over $18,000 in cash, a measuring cup with crack cocaine residue, two digital scales, heroin and cocaine test kits, and numerous guns, including two 40 caliber pistols, an AR rifle, an AK pistol, and an AR pistol. The document says high capacity magazines and numerous rounds of ammunition were also found in the same house in Prairieville.

The following defendants are listed in an indictment that accuses them of participating in an operation that sold heroin, cocaine base, and methamphetamine in Baton Rouge and other areas:

  • James C. Hull aka “Fat Boy”
  • Byron A. Lawson aka “B”
  • Henry J. Hayes
  • Dariuss Sprivey
  • Brian Hernandez

The charges against Hull, Lawson, Hayes, Sprivey, and Hernandez include: 

  • conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine base,
  • distribution of methamphetamine and cocaine base and heroin
  • possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime
  • possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
  • unlawful use of communication facilities
  • notice of forfeiture?

The following defendants are listed in an indictment that accuses them of participating in an operation that brought in cocaine and heroin from Houston, converted to crack cocaine, and sold the drugs in Baton Rouge, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and other locations:

  • Travis R. James
  • Troy L. James
  • Harris Hampton III
  • Joshua J. Mansion, aka “Josh”
  • Sidney L. Jarvis
  • D’Mari D. Harding, aka “D’Mari” or “Mari”
  • Kim K. Murphy, aka “Ken”
  • Yascia N. Lafrance
  • Carl W. Richard Jr.
  • Melvin A. Jacobs, “Solo”
  • Michael D. Nelson
  • Anthony Dupard
  • Cornelius J. Carter
  • Corey L. King
  • Brian W. Hollingsworth

The charges against these 15 defendants include:

  • conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, cocaine base, and heroin
  • possession with the intent to distribute cocaine
  • distribution of cocaine
  • possession with the intent to distribute cocaine
  • possession with the intent to distribute cocaine
  • possession with the intent to distribute cocaine base
  • attempt to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and heroin
  • possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime
  • possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime
  • possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
  • unlawful use of communication facilities
  • notice of forfeiture

The following defendants are listed in an indictment that accuses them of participating in an operation that sold heroin, methamphetamine, and crack cocaine in Baton Rouge and elsewhere:

  • Cody Stafford
  • Dustin Henderson
  • Ben Hammett, aka "Mr. Ben"
  • Sam E. Kinamore
  • Birttany P. Young
  • William W. Lipscomb
  • Frank W. Lipscomb
  • Ashley L. Impson
  • Shannon Miller
  • Samuel Richardson
  • Brian N. Danna
  • Heather R. Webber
  • Dale Odom
  • Greggory A. Lollis
  • Brandon S. Kinamore
  • Robert T. Sanders, aka "Tommy"
  • Jennifer Levite
  • Joby V. Letard
  • Stacy Taylor
  • Johnny J. Mason
  • Shayla T. Payne

The charges against these 21 defendants include: 

  • conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine base
  • possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine
  • distribution of methamphetamine
  • possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime
  • possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
  • unlawful use of communication facilities
  • notice of forfeiture

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