For Immediate Release
Federal Jury Convicts New Orleans Man on Drug and Weapons Charges
NEW ORLEANS – Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that a federal jury convicted ROBERT RICKS, age 36, of New Orleans, for his role in conspiring to distribute crack cocaine and heroin, possessing heroin and crack with the intent to distribute, possessing a gun in furtherance of his drug-trafficking activities, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Following a two-day trial, the jury found RICKS guilty of all five counts with which he was charged.
According to the evidence presented at trial, RICKS conspired with several other individuals to distribute crack cocaine and heroin in the fall of 2014 and early 2015. The case began when the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) received a CrimeStoppers tip about RICKS’ drug-trafficking activity in early February 2015. NOPD officers initiated surveillance and observed RICKS dealing from a house at the corner of Belleville and De Armas streets. They then secured a search warrant for the house where RICKS lived. NOPD found heroin, crack cocaine, a loaded pistol, scales, $3,600 in cash, and various other paraphernalia associated with drug trafficking. RICKS was arrested on state charges following the search. The state charges were ultimately adopted for federal prosecution after RICKS became a target in a parallel Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ investigation focused in Algiers.
On the drug charges, RICKS faces a minimum sentence of ten years of imprisonment and a maximum of life imprisonment, a maximum $10,000,000 fine, and at least five years of supervised release. RICKS also faces a mandatory consecutive five-year sentence for possessing a gun in furtherance of his drug-trafficking activities. Sentencing before Judge Carl Barbier is scheduled for January 11, 2018.
Acting U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the New Orleans Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys David Haller and Myles Ranier were responsible for the prosecution.