For Immediate Release
New Orleans Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearm and Drug Trafficking Charges Stemming From His Participation in a Shootout at a Local Hotel
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that BLAKE BATISTE, age 19, from New Orleans, pled guilty on January 5, 2022, to various firearm and drug charges. His guilty plea stems from his participation in a December 28, 2020, shootout on the 15th floor of the Jung Hotel on Canal Street.
Earlier this year the federal Grand Jury handed down related indictments, charging a total of nine individuals with various violations of the Federal Gun Control and Federal Controlled Substances Acts. BATISTE pled guilty to Counts 1, 2, and 4 of the Superseding Indictment pending against him.
Count 1 charges BATISTE with attempting to commit a Hobbs Act Robbery, in violation of Title 18, United Stated Code, Sections 1951 and 2. Count 2 charges BATISTE with participating in a conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute quantities of marijuana, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(D), and 846. Count 4 charges BATISTE with participating in a conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence and a drug trafficking crime, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(o).
Counts 1 carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and up to 3 years supervised release. Count 2 carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, up to a $250,000.00 fine, and at least 2 years supervised release. Counts 4 carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, up to a $250,000.00 fine, and up to 3 years supervised release. The defendant must pay a total of $300 in mandatory special assessment fees.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
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.