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Two More Convicted in Multi-State Heroin Ring in Baton Rouge

MAY 20 (BATON ROUGE, La.) – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge Eric Watson and United States Attorney Walt Green announced today that two more defendants have been convicted in Operation Goldy Locks for their roles in a multi-state heroin ring which involved disguising heroin as oxycodone pills in order to maximize profits. Both defendants remain in custody and are scheduled to be sentenced on September 1, 2016. A total of 11 defendants were indicted in this matter. Five defendants have been convicted thus far.

On May 18, 2016, Justin R. Scott, age 32, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pleaded guilty before a Chief U.S. District Judge to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846. Scott admitted that, between January 1, 2014, and February 18, 2015, he conspired with individuals in California and Louisiana to distribute thousands of heroin pills that had been pressed to resemble oxycodone. Once delivered to Baton Rouge from California, the pills were distributed to mid-level drug dealers and ultimately sold to drug abusers in East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes. Scott admitted to knowing that the pills contained heroin and that he intended to sell and profit from the sale of significant amounts of heroin.

On May 18, 2016, Keenan Harris, Jr., age 36, of Denham Springs, Louisiana, pleaded guilty before a Chief Judge to distributing heroin, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841. Specifically, he admitted to re-distributing over 500 heroin pills on October 14, 2014, which he had received from Scott and which had been pressed to resemble oxycodone.

Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge Watson stated: “By removing these criminals from the streets of Louisiana, they can no longer distribute this toxic poison to our communities. Through remarkable partnerships with state, federal and local law enforcement, we are making major progress in preventing heroin trafficking from taking hold in our communities. This investigation is a compelling example of that success."

U.S. Attorney Green stated: “This case illustrates one of the many dangers associated with the use of any illegal drugs, namely, the inability of the user to know for sure what is contained in the drugs purchased. This danger can indeed be fatal. I am grateful for the hard work of the DEA, the prosecutor from my office, and the many federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies who collectively pursued this criminal organization.”

This matter was investigated by DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squad in the Baton Rouge Office and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, with assistance from the Louisiana State Police, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Baton Rouge Police Department.

Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.  

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