For Immediate Release
Forty-One Charged With Illegal Trafficking, Possession, and Use of Firearms, Drug Trafficking and Conspiracy Offenses as a Result of Summer Violent Crime Reduction Effort “Operation Big Easy” in New Orleans
Federal and local law-enforcement officials announced today that 41 individuals were charged in connection with firearms-trafficking, drug-distribution, conspiracy, and other offenses following a three-month violent crime reduction initiative in New Orleans this summer.
“The dozens of charges and arrests announced today represent what federal, state, and local law enforcement can accomplish when we work hand-in-hand to take violent criminals and trigger-pullers off our streets,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “When we harness the Justice Department’s resources and technology — especially crime-gun intelligence from ATF’s NIBIN network — we are able to identify and arrest the culprits of gun violence and safeguard our communities. Across the country, our towns and cities are safer because of the dedication and bravery of federal agents and their state and local partners, and the 21st-century crime-solving tools DOJ is able to provide.”
“For months, incredibly brave ATF agents and our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners have been investigating violent criminals who have terrorized New Orleans,” said Director Steve Dettelbach of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). “The results are now clear: dozens of arrests; scores of seized firearms, including guns previously used in crimes; recoveries of stolen guns and guns with obliterated serial numbers; and the seizure of deadly machine gun conversion devices. All done better than ever using crime gun intelligence to catch the worst of the worst. ATF commits to continue using and sharing its intelligence with our courageous partners around the country to further drive down violent crime."
“Many thanks to all of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners for their invaluable efforts, unrelenting vigilance, and selfless contributions to the Operation Big Easy Initiative,” said U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans for the Eastern District of Louisiana. “When we work together and share information, good results occur. To our community, rest assured that we will continue to combat violent crime throughout the Eastern District of Louisiana. Every resource and every force multiplier we possess, will be used to accomplish that goal.”
Special Agent in Charge Joshua Jackson of the ATF New Orleans Division, Special Agent in Charge Bradley L. Byerly of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New Orleans Division, and Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams provided additional details relating to the initiative, as well as other narcotics and violence-prevention efforts.
Indictments and complaints were recently unsealed in federal court. The charges stemmed from the extensive, targeted, and sustained effort this past summer, led by ATF and assisted by other federal, state, and local law-enforcement partners, to clamp down on illegal firearms trafficking, use, and possession, as well as the associated distribution of drugs, in New Orleans.
Overall, this operation resulted in approximately 71 crime-related firearms being permanently removed from New Orleans’ streets. The seized weapons included a significant number of stolen firearms and others with ;obliterated serial numbers. NIBIN data connected a number of the firearms to violent criminal activity, including homicides and felonious assaults, that took place in the New Orleans area and Gulf Coast region in 2022 and 2023. And six of the weapons are machinegun-conversion devices or “switches,” which enable a firearm to fire in fully automatic mode.
Some of these individuals also sold controlled substances to law enforcement. Many of these sales took place in public parking lots of business establishments during business hours or in recreational areas while nearby citizens engaged in their day-to-day errands or recreational activities. During this investigation, law enforcement purchased or seized over two kilograms of fentanyl/heroin mix, over one-half kilogram of cocaine and cocaine base, and over one-half kilogram of methamphetamine.
The following is a breakdown of the charges in United States District Court, according to court documents:
- Michael Lott, 49, Dianta Tropez, 29, Vernell Woodard, 40, Quindele Addison, 47, Sheena Rudolph, 40, and Coris Addison, 23, were charged on Sept. 22 in a superseding indictment.
- Quindele Addison, Woodard, Rudolph and Tropez were charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.
- Tropez, Woodard and Quindele Addison were further charged with distribution of methamphetamine.
- Lott, Tropez and Woodard were charged with conspiracy and robbery of a person of money belonging to the United States.
- Lott, Tropez and Woodard with brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and assaulting an officer of the United States with a deadly weapon.
- Lott, Tropez and Quindele Addison were charged with unlawfully possessing firearms following felony convictions.
- Quindele Addison was charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
- Quindele Addison and Woodard are charged, jointly, with maintaining a drug involved premises.
- Rashad Montague, 32, was charged Oct. 10 via complaint with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
- Dawud Barnes, 22, was indicted Oct. 6 for possession and transfer of a machinegun.
- Vin Davis, 43, and William Grace, 45, were indicted Oct. 5 for distribution of fentanyl.
- Anthony Doyl, 40, and Carlos Guillen, 43, were indicted Oct. 12 for distribution of fentanyl.
- Devin Hilliard, 47, and Stering Pipkins, 39, were indicted Oct. 12 for distribution of cocaine, and Hilliard was additionally charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm following a felony conviction.
- Joshua Hogan, 35, was indicted Sept. 29 for distribution of fentanyl.
- Dayshawn Brown, 39, was indicted Oct. 12 for distribution of fentanyl and methamphetamine, unlawfully possessing a firearm following a felony conviction, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
- Michael Lewis, 36, was indicted Oct. 6 for distribution of fentanyl/heroin/cocaine, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and unlawfully possessing a firearm following a felony conviction.
- Troy Locke, 34, was indicted Sept. 8 for unlawfully possessing a firearm following a felony conviction.
- Junior Alexander Moncada-Vargas, 34, was indicted Sept. 29 for possession and transfer a machinegun and unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition as an unauthorized alien.
- Luis Morales, 33, Tyrone Whittington, 38, and Daniel Beck, 43, were indicted Oct. 5. Morales, Whittington, and Beck were charged with distribution of methamphetamine. Morales was charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and unlawfully possessing a firearm following a felony conviction. Whittington was charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm following a felony conviction.
- Tommy Nash, 50 and Loreall Gorden, 38, were indicted Sept. 22 for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, and distribution of fentanyl.
- Rodney Offray, 49, was indicted Sept. 22 for distribution of fentanyl and heroin.
- Jamar Holmes, 34, was indicted Oct. 5 for distribution of fentanyl and cocaine and sale of a stolen firearm.
- Kennan Alexis, age 47, was indicted Oct. 5 for distribution of fentanyl and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
- Dameron Carmon, 45, were charged Oct. 20 via complaint with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.
- Daniel Smith, 55, were charged Oct. 20 via complaint with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.
The following is a breakdown of the charges in Orleans Criminal District Court, according to court documents:
- Johnny Milton, 42, drug trafficking.
- Brandon Adiar, 49, drug trafficking.
- Kenneth Tyler, 46, drug trafficking.
- Brandon Jackson, 33, drug trafficking.
- Calvin Smith, 44, drug trafficking.
- Cordero Johnson, 35, drug trafficking.
- Ernest Cloud, 29, drug trafficking.
- LC Nixon, 33, drug trafficking.
- Cierra Craig, 34, drug trafficking.
- Ormond King, 31, drug trafficking.
- Zed Jones, age 32, illegal possession of a firearm
ATF investigated the cases, with assistance from the DEA, New Orleans Police Department, Louisiana State Police, U.S. Marshals Service, City of New Orleans Office of Criminal Justice Coordination, and the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, with additional thanks to the New Orleans Emergency Management Service and Crime Stoppers, GNO. This operation was also part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces initiative.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office are prosecuting the cases.