Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearm and Drug Trafficking Charges Stemming From Shootout at New Orleans Hotel
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today, that MALIK FERNANDEZ, age 23, from New Orleans, pled guilty on January 24, 2023 to various firearm and drug charges. His guilty plea stems from his participation in a December 28, 2020, shootout at the Jung Hotel on Canal Street.
Earlier this year, a federal grand jury handed down two related indictments charging a total of nine individuals with various violations of the Federal Gun Control and Federal Controlled Substances Acts for their participation in this shootout. Today, FERNANDEZ pled guilty to Counts 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the indictment, charging him with conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (Count 1); using, carrying and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime (Count 2); conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana (Count 3); and illegally maintaining a drug involved premises (Count 4).
FERNANDEZ will be sentenced on May 2, 2023. Based on his guilty plea he will face the following sentences:
For Count 1, he will face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, not more than 3 years of supervised release, and not more than a $250,000.00 fine, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(o) and 3583.
For Count 2, he will face a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison, not more than 5 years of supervised release, and a fine of not more than $250,000.00, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c). Any prison sentence imposed in connection with this count must be served consecutively to any other prison sentence imposed in connection with this case, in accordance with Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(c), 2, and 3583.
For Count 3, he will face a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, up to two years of supervised release, and not more than a $250,000.00 fine, pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Section 841 (b)(1)(D); and
For Count 4, he will face a sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of not more than $500,000.00 and not more than 3 years of supervised release, in accordance with Title 18, United States code, Section 3583.
Each count also carries a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.
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 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.
The case was investigated by the New Orleans Police Department and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorneys Maurice Landrieu and Elizabeth Privitera are in charge of the prosecution.