News Release
September 10, 2009
Contact: Roberto E. Bryan, Jr.
Special Agent/PIO
Number: 504-840-1360

Methamphetamine Dealer Sentenced to Over 21 Years in Federal Prison

SEP 10 -- NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA -MERLIN DESPEAUX, age 47, a resident of Marrero, Louisiana, was sentenced today in federal court by U. S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance to over 21 years (262 months) imprisonment for participating in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.  In addition to the term of imprisonment, Judge Vance imposed five (5) years of supervised release following the term of imprisonment during which time the defendant will be under federal supervision and risks an additional term of imprisonment should he violate any terms of his supervised release.

According to the court record, DESPEAUX pled guilty on February 18, 2009 admitting that he supplied 500 grams or more of methamphetamine to several co-defendants for distribution between September and November, 2007.   At the sentencing hearing, it was established that DESPEAUX had two prior convictions for drug trafficking crimes and based on these convictions, DESPEAUX was found to be a “career offender” and sentenced accordingly.  After sentencing, MERLIN DESPEAUX was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal’s Service to begin his term of imprisonment.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Maurice E. Landrieu, Jr.