For Immediate Release
Federal Jury in Lafayette Returns Guilty Verdict Following Week-Long Trial
LAFAYETTE, La. – A federal jury seated in Lafayette has returned a guilty verdict against Jarvis Pierre, 38, of Houston, Texas, convicting him on firearms charges following a week-long trial before United States District Judge James D. Cain, Jr., announced Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook.
Pierre was charged in a Second Superseding Indictment on April 28, 2021 with two counts of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Evidence introduced at the trial revealed that Pierre was stopped by law enforcement officers on October 7, 2018 and December 27, 2018 for traffic violations.
On October 7, 2018, deputies with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a shots fired call outside of the Cloud 9 night club in Lake Charles, Louisiana. When deputies arrived, the crowd began to disburse and many patrons left the parking lot. Deputies observed a vehicle that remained in the parking lot with the driver acting suspiciously. Law enforcement officers followed the vehicle once the driver left the parking lot and observed the vehicle drift from the lane of travel several times and conducted a traffic stop. Pierre was the driver of the vehicle and as deputies approached the vehicle, they detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside. After a search of Pierre’s person, deputies found large amounts of cash, and a brown, powdery substance which was determined to contain heroin and fentanyl. While searching the vehicle further, deputies found a loaded FN57 handgun under the driver’s seat, as well as a loose 5.7mm round of ammunition, a rolled marijuana cigarette, and a baby bottle containing promethazine. Memo books containing writing that was determined to be prices for different amounts of narcotics with names and addresses were also found in the vehicle. The amount of cash found on Pierre’s person and in the vehicle totaled over $11,000.
When Pierre was stopped by Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies for a traffic violation on December 27, 2018, they found him to have a loaded handgun between the driver’s seat and center console of his vehicle, along with marijuana on his person and in the vehicle, and two cellular phones. Deputies determined at that time that Pierre had an active warrant out of Texas stemming from a traffic stop in February 2018 in Pearland, Texas by officers with the Pearland Police Department. During the Pearland, Texas stop, law enforcement officers found a loaded 9mm handgun, over 400 oxycodone pills and $11,629 in cash, as well as 4 cellular telephones.
Pierre has previous felony convictions for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute (2001); distribution of cocaine (2002); and aggravated assault with a firearm (2013). It is illegal for individuals with a prior felony conviction to possess a firearm or ammunition.
The defendant faces no less than 15 years nor more than life in prison on the two convicted felon in possession of a firearm counts of the indictment, a $250,000 fine, or both. He faces a statutory mandatory minimum of not less than 5 years and up to life on the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime count in the indictment, to run consecutive to the other counts.
Sentencing has been set for September 23, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.
The ATF and Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John W. Nickel and J. Luke Walker prosecuted the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. PSN is part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime. To learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods, go to www.justice.gov/psn.