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DEA and Louisiana State Police Dismantle Local Drug Trafficking Organization

JUN 15 (NEW ORLEANS) – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Stephen G. Azzam and U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced the recent unsealing of a Superseding Indictment charging an array of federal narcotics and firearm violations by members of a drug trafficking organization operating in south Louisiana.  The Superseding Indictment, which was returned by the grand jury on May 26, 2016, charges eight defendants with conspiring to distribute controlled dangerous substances in the parishes of St. Charles and St. John the Baptist.  The Superseding Indictment names the following defendants: Andre Staggers, a/k/a “Dre,” 42, Corey Session, 42, Gregory London, Jr., a/k/a “Lil Gregg,” 40, Terrance Anderson, a/k/a “City,” 34, Kirk Ballard, 34, Leonard Morrison, a/k/a “Leonard London,” 33, Christopher Olavarrieta, 30, and Kirkland Jerome Sterling, 42.

According to the Superseding Indictment, these defendants conspired together, from approximately January 2015 through May 2016, to distribute heroin, cocaine, and marijuana in the Eastern District of Louisiana and elsewhere.  The scope of the conspiracy encompassed at least five kilograms or more of cocaine and one kilogram or more of heroin.  During the course of this investigation, federal and state law enforcement officers seized various drugs, including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine.  According to documents, search warrants executed on February 25, 2016, at two residences used by Session resulted in the seizure of two AK-style rifles, approximately $10,000 in cash, and a half kilogram of cocaine.  A search warrant executed the same day at the residence of Staggers resulted in the seizure of an AR-15 rifle, a half kilogram of heroin, and over $400,000 in cash.

Staggers and Session also are charged with federal firearms violations.  Staggers is charged with possession of a firearm as a felon.  Session is charged with possession of a firearm as an armed career criminal.  Both are also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
On June 15, 2016, agents and Officers arrested London Jr., Anderson, Morrison, Olavarrieta and Sterling pursuant to Federal arrest warrants.  Six suspects were arrested on state narcotics charges of possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy.  The following individuals were arrested on state charges:  Dillard Ross II, 38, Erin Nelson, 37, Jeffery Labry, 43, Kirk Armelin, 51, Samuel Davenport, 33, and Xavier Castillo, 25.

Ballard was arrested on August 23, 2015, on state charges that were incorporated into the federal indictment.  Staggers and Session were both arrested after the February 25, 2016 search warrants that were executed at their respective residences.  Six suspects were arrested on state narcotics charges.

“Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, in partnership with our Colombian National Police counterparts, have severely disrupted facilitation cells operating in the greater New Orleans area and surrounding parishes. In addition to numerous federal and state arrests, this investigation has led to the seizure of drugs, cash, weapons and various assets. These enforcement actions will have an immediate impact on this drug trafficking organization’s ability to conduct business as usual. The numerous investigations that culminated in the enforcement actions taken yesterday exemplify the outstanding cooperation among law enforcement agencies here and abroad,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Stephen G. Azzam.

“Dismantling a Drug Trafficking Organization requires unity between law enforcement agencies,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, Louisiana State Police Superintendent. “Effective partnerships are essential to criminal investigations and we continue to build strong cases with our counterparts. I am proud of the dedication and cooperation our Troopers exhibit on a daily basis in order to disassemble these types of organizations.”  

"The St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office is proud of the partnership we share with our local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. We will continue to vigorously investigate illegal drug activities and cooperate fully with all law enforcement agencies in order to bring their criminals to justice. I am very proud of the professionalism and dedication displayed by the men and women of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office. With hard work, a strong law enforcement partnership and the community's assistance, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office will continue to fight the evil of the illegal drug trade,” said Sheriff Greg Champagne, St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.

"This major network was taken down by the successful teamwork of multiple federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The criminals don't care about jurisdictional boundaries. The criminal element is networking every day, so law enforcement must do the same,” said St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre.

This investigation represents a coordinated effort of federal and state law enforcement authorities within DEA’s Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program and Louisiana State Police.  New Orleans Field Division (NOFD) HIDTA Group 11 includes members of DEA, Louisiana State Police, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and Gretna 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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