For Immediate Release
Armed Drug Trafficker Convicted at Trial
BATON ROUGE, LA – United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today that a federal jury has convicted JOSHUAL HILTON, age 33, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, of drug trafficking and firearm violations. Earlier this afternoon, after a two and a half day trial, the jury unanimously returned guilty verdicts on all three counts presented at trial, namely, possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, marijuana and promethazine, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
As the evidence at trial demonstrated, HILTON distributed methamphetamine, marijuana and promethazine in a Baton Rouge neighborhood near Sherwood Forest Boulevard. A search warrant executed at his residence on Silverest Drive on September 22, 2016, resulted in the seizure of two kilograms of methamphetamine, over 5 pounds of marijuana, and 20 bottles of promethazine syrup. Law enforcement officers also recovered a stolen loaded Glock .40 semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine and over $36,000 in drug proceeds. HILTON led police on a high-speed chase through neighborhoods near St. Thomas More School, tossing drugs out of the window as he fled, prior to his arrest.
As a result of his convictions and a sentencing enhancement based upon prior drug convictions, HILTON faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.
United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin stated, “The evidence clearly showed that Mr. Hilton is an unrepentant drug dealer who continued to ply a very dangerous trade in our community. Today reaffirms, yet again, that armed drug traffickers will find no safe quarter in our communities – and certainly not in federal court. I applaud the thoughtful decisions of the unanimous jury, and the excellent work of the prosecutors and the federal and local law enforcement agencies who worked seamlessly together to bring this drug trafficker to justice. Our collective work to make our communities safer must and will continue with vigor.”
ATF New Orleans Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Jeffrey Powell stated, “With today’s guilty verdict, the armed drug traffickers that prey on our communities should be nervous. ATF, along with our state and local law enforcement partners, will pursue these violent criminals until they are removed from our neighborhoods for good.”
This matter is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office. The investigation received valuable assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration. This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney and Deputy Criminal Chief Jennifer Kleinpeter and Assistant United States Attorney Ryan Rezaei.