News Release
Contact: DEA Public Affairs
Number: 202-307-7977

January 25, 2006

Man Arrested In Plot To Murder DEA Agent

JAN 25 --New Orleans, Louisana - William J. Renton, Jr., Special Agent In Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Jim Letten, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, announced the arrest of JOHNNIE SIMS last night after he attempted to hire a hit man to kill a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

According to the criminal complaint filed in federal court today, federal agents learned of a plot to kill DEA Special Agent Chad Scott from cooperating defendants in jail, who indicated that CHRIS WALKER, who was recently arrested and indicted in federal court for possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine, was seeking to hire someone to murder Special Agent Scott.

Acting swiftly and decisively, federal agents exploited used this intelligence and initiated a plan to thwart the planned assassination. A sting operation was undertaken in which the cooperating defendants provided to WALKER the telephone number of an undercover agent who was posing as the killer. WALKER then contacted JOHNNIE SIMS, a blood relative and drug trafficking associate, to pay the undercover agent to kill Special Agent Scott. SIMS contacted the undercover agent and had two meetings with him concerning the desire of WALKER and SIMS to kill Special Agent Scott. SIMS agreed to pay the undercover agent $15,000.00 to complete this murder.

During the second meeting, SIMS identified a picture of Special Agent Scott, stating that he wanted him killed as soon as possible. He also paid the undercover agent a thousand dollars as a down payment for the killing. Shortly after this meeting DEA Special Agents arrested SIMS, who was in possession of a semi-automatic pistol at the time of his arrest. After being advised of his rights, SIMS agreed to cooperate with authorities and confessed to his role in the plot to kill Special Agent Scott for CHRIS WALKER. CHRIS WALKER remains in jail at this time on federal drug trafficking charges, and has been detained without bond pending his trial. This investigation is ongoing and additional suspects are expected to be arrested.

United States Attorney Letten, commenting on the arrest, stated:

“ This arrest and the swift federal response to the vicious plot to murder a career DEA Special Agent should serve as compelling evidence of our absolute commitment to take any steps necessary to protect the lives of law enforcement officers and citizens alike from those dangerous criminals who prey upon society with no regard for human life. As we move forward in rebuilding our ravaged region, the people we serve should take comfort in the knowledge that the men and women of federal law enforcement will employ every weapon in our arsenal to hunt down and bring to justice anyone who poses a threat to the lives and safety of our law enforcement professionals or to those brave citizens who come forward as witnesses.

My special thanks and commendation to go to the DEA Special Agent in Charge William Renton and for the Special Agents and support personnel who have brought this and other individuals like him to justice, and to the dedicated prosecutors and staff who daily act as their partners in the defense of our way of life.”

Special Agent in Charge Bill Renton stated that he was outraged to learn that these drug dealers would try to harm a federal agent for doing his job, serving the people of the United States. He went on to say that DEA will go to any length necessary to insure the safety of their personnel.
This case is being prosecuted in federal court by Assistant United States Attorney Maurice E. Landrieu, Jr., Supervisors of the Drug Unit, and Assistant United States Attorney Jay Quinlan.

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