U.S. Attorney’s Office Indicts 14 For Acadiana Methamphetamine Distribution Conspiracy
LAFAYETTE, La. - Drug Enforcement (DEA) Assistant Special Agent in Charge Joseph W. Shepherd and United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that a federal grand jury indicted 14 people in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy in Lafayette, New Iberia and the surrounding areas.
“Today we have dismantled a drug trafficking organization, which has been responsible for bringing significant amounts of crystal methamphetamine from Houston, Texas into the communities of New Iberia, Louisiana,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Joseph W. Shepherd. “This organization used a variety of sophisticated methods to evade detection in order to facilitate their operation. Today’s arrests are indicative of the DEA’s commitment to rid our communities of drug trafficking organizations determined to profit on the backs of addiction. Methamphetamine is an insidious, addictive drug that consumes all who abuse it. Citizens in New Iberia and its surrounding communities can rest assured that the DEA and our law enforcement partners are determined to ensure that our communities remain safe and are a great place to live,” said Shepherd.
Those named in the 20-count indictment are:
Gary Hunt, 58, of Spendora, Texas;
Elliot Jolet, 34, of New Iberia, La.;
Anita Desormeaux, 42, of New Iberia;
Ko Chanhkongshinh, 37, of Youngsville, La.;
Jenee Lynn Hargrave, 29, of Scott, La.;
David Lowery, 32, of New Iberia;
Everette Dupuis, 39, of New Iberia;
Michael Guidry, 44, of Erath, La.;
Tyrone Howard, 42, of Youngsville;
Kevin Jefferson, 31, of New Iberia;
Nared Souphannavong, 29, of New Iberia;
Brandi Boullion, 27, of New Iberia;
Dewey Migues, 35, of New Iberia; and
Corey Freyou, 37, of New Iberia.
According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine in New Iberia, Lafayette, and the surrounding areas. Jolet and Desormeaux purchased methamphetamine from Hunt in Texas and other sources and then transported it to the South Central Louisiana area. It was then sold or distributed in reduced quantities among the other conspirators. The investigation also resulted in the seizure of crystal methamphetamine, more than $5,400, a vehicle, and several firearms. Of the defendants, 12 have been arrested. Dupuis and Hargrave still remain at large. If you have information on the location of the defendants who are still at large, please call the DEA at 337-706-3940 or the U.S. Marshals Service.
The defendants face various possible penalties depending on the drug quantity involved and their drug histories. Some defendants face up to 20 years in prison, and some face up to life in prison, and up to 10 years of supervised release, for the conspiracy to possess and distribute methamphetamine count. The defendants also face up to 40 years in prison, and some up to life, and up to eight years of supervised release, for the distribution of methamphetamine count; they face up to eight years in prison and up to three years of supervised release for the use of a communication facility in causing or facilitating a drug trafficking crime count; and defendant Migues faces up to 10 years in prison and up to three years of supervised release for the possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon count. They also face a fine of up to $20 million and forfeiture of the money and property seized in the case.
The defendants were arrested as part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF) Operation. The DEA, Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Lafayette Police Department participated in this OCDETF investigation. The U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Lafayette City Marshal’s Office assisted in the arrests. The OCDETF program is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Myers P. Namie, Daniel J. McCoy and Robert F. Moore are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.