Reserve man indicted for armed heroin dealing

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, October 18, 2017

NEW ORLEANS – A St. John the Baptist Parish man is facing five to 40 years in prison as federal authorities charge him with using a semiautomatic Glock handgun while distributing 100 grams of heroin.

Acting U.S. Attorney Duane Evans said 38-year-old Derrell Joseph, of Reserve, was charged last week in a four-count Indictment for violations of the Federal Controlled Substances Act.

Specifically, Joseph is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of heroin, and violations of the Federal Gun Control Act, including use of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

According to documents filed Oct. 12 in U.S. District Court, the alleged crimes took place May 9. Further, authorities said Joseph was convicted Feb. 9, 1998, in St. Charles Parish for cocaine possession.

If convicted, Joseph faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years of imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 40 years of imprisonment, up to a $5 million fine, at least four years of supervised release and a $100 Mandatory Special Assessment Fee as to the drug charge.

If convicted of use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, Joseph faces an additional five-year consecutive term.

In a release to the press Monday, Evans said the indictment is an allegation and guilt still must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Evans praised the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office for investigating. Assistant United States Attorney James S. C. Baehr is in charge of the prosecution.