DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

For Immediate Release

Friday, December 29, 2023
Duane A. Evans
, United States Attorney

Jefferson Parish Man Pleads Guilty to Violating the Federal Gun Control and Controlled Substances Acts

NEW ORLEANS — Ronnie Williams, age 22, of Metairie, pleaded guilty as charged on Dec. 20 before U.S. District Judge Jane T. Milazzo to five counts of federal drug and weapons violations.

Williams pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base and marijuana, in violation of Title 21, U.S. Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(C), 841(b)(1)(D), and 846; conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 924(o); possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and marijuana, in violation of Title 21, U.S. Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(C), and 841(b)(1)(D); possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 924(c)(1)(A)(i); and being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2).

According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2022, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted surveillance in the 500 block of N. Elm Street in Metairie. Williams arrived in the area and received a backpack from his co-defendant which contained marijuana, cocaine base and fentanyl. Over the next hour, Williams made several drug sales to customers arriving in vehicles, including transactions with other co-defendants. When law enforcement arrived, Williams fled and threw a handgun loaded with an extended magazine containing 24 rounds of ammunition. Williams is prohibited from possessing a firearm because of a prior Louisiana felony conviction for distribution of heroin.

With respect to his convictions for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and distribution of controlled substances, Williams faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000,000 and a minimum of three years of supervised release on each count. With respect to his conviction for conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, Williams faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release. With respect to his conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm, Williams faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years of supervised release. With respect to his conviction for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, Williams faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years up to life in prison, which is to run consecutively to all other sentences, up to a $250,000 fine and up to five years of supervised release. Each count also carries a mandatory $100 special assessment fee.

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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Berman of the Violent Crime Unit.

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New Orleans Field Division