DEA Task Force Arrests 14 Individuals Charged In Federal Grand Jury Indictment For Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
APR 25 -- NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - Today, a Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force arrested JASON BROOM, age 30, a resident of Chalmette, Louisiana, MAXWELL LANDRY, age 28, a resident of Pass Christian, Mississippi, JESSICA WILSON, age 24, a resident of Metairie, Louisiana, JOHN ROCKWELL, age 48, a resident of Chalmette, Louisiana, JOSE VASQUEZ, age 29, a resident of Metairie, Louisiana, RYAN MEYERS, age 31, a resident of Marrero, Louisiana, PAUL PURVIS, age 31, a resident of Metairie, Louisiana, JOAB JETT, age 30, a resident of Metairie, Louisiana, DAMIEN CALLAIS, age 27, a resident of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, VERNON COOK, age 35 , a resident of Mandeville, Louisiana, SEAN VILLAVASO, age 34, a resident of Metairie, Louisiana, DENNIS BROWN, age 37, a resident of Marrero, Louisiana, BRANDON COOLEY, age 29, a resident of Covington, Louisiana, and ROBERT ROSANNI, age 55, a resident of Chalmette, Louisiana, all of whom were previously charged in a sealed 21-count indictment by a Federal Grand Jury for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine hydrochloride.
On April 12, 2007, all of the defendants were charged in Count 1 of the indictment with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine hydrochloride. Counts 2-5, 10, 12, 15, and 17 charge BROOM, VASQUEZ, ROCKWELL, MEYERS, PURVIS, JETT, CALLAIS, and COOK with distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute quantities of cocaine hydrochloride. Counts 6-9, 11, 13-14, 16, and 18-21 charge BROOM, LANDRY, WILSON, ROCKWELL, VASQUEZ, MEYERS, PURVIS, CALLAIS, COOK, VILLAVASO, BROWN, COOLEY, and ROSANNI with using a communication facility in the commission of a violation of the Federal Controlled Substances Act.
DEA Special Agent in Charge William J. Renton, Jr. lauding the efforts of all of the law enforcement agencies involved in the dismantling of this multi-kilogram cocaine distribution organization, added:
“This case offers an ideal example of the synergistic effects that exist in multi-agency task force groups investigating drug trafficking organizations. This organization came under scrutiny of Federal authorities as a result of information developed by local task force officers from Lafourche and Jefferson Parishes, and members of the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office. This investigation became a priority target of the DEA Financial Investigative Task Force which consists of special agents and officers from the DEA, FBI, IRS, Jefferson Parish, St. Charles Parish, Lafourche Parish, Terrebonne Parish Sheriffs’ Offices, New Orleans Police Department and the Louisiana National Guard. The combined efforts of all the participating agencies, utilizing the full range of investigative techniques, resulted in the Federal Grand Jury indictment and today's arrests of the top 14 members of this significant drug trafficking organization".
If convicted on Count 1, the defendants face a mandatory minimum term of five (5) years in prison and a maximum of forty (40) years imprisonment, a fine of up to $2 million, and at least four (4) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Counts 2-5, 10, 12, 15, and 17 carry a maximum of twenty (20) years imprisonment, a fine of up to $1 million, and at least three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Counts 6-9, 11, 13-14, 16, and 18-21 carry a maximum of four (4) years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and up to three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with the cooperation the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The public and press are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.