For Immediate Release
Metairie Man Pleads Guilty for Use of Communication Device to Facilitate Drug Trafficking
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that on August 17, Brandon Martinez, aka “Rabbit,” 24, of Metairie, pleaded guilty to count 1 of the superseding bill of information for use of a communication facility to facilitate felony drug trafficking, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 843(b).
For count 1, the maximum penalty includes 4 years of imprisonment, a fine up to $250,000, not more than 1 year of supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.
According to public records, prior to March 2, 2021, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was informed that a motorcycle shop located at 5926 Alost Street in New Orleans was suspected of harboring individuals selling drugs. ATF utilized a confidential informant (CI) to approach the shop and investigate if drug sales were occurring. On March 2, 2021, the CI traveled to the shop and met with Martinez. The CI stated he was there to purchase methamphetamine. Martinez utilized a cellphone to facilitate a meeting later that day between the CI and a co-defendant who sold methamphetamine. Co-defendants in this case previously pleaded guilty to selling and attempting to sell over 50 grams of methamphetamine, in addition to gun charges.
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 track 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.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the New Orleans Police Department, and the Louisiana State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Trummel of the Violent Crime Unit handled the prosecution.