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Lafourche Parish man sentenced to ten years imprisonment for federal drug distribution violations

NEW ORLEANS– Montrell Cleveland, age 34, a resident of Raceland, Louisiana, was sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment, 5 years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $400.00 in special assessment fees by U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier after pleading guilty to four counts of a fourteen-count indictment charging him with several narcotics offenses, including conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fifty kilograms or more of methamphetamine and use of a communication facility to facilitate a drug trafficking crime, announced U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans.

According to court documents, beginning in January 2018, Special Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration made two controlled purchases of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine each from Kendall Mathews.  After making the controlled purchases, agents obtained court ordered wiretaps of Mathews’s and co-conspirators’ telephones and intercepted numerous calls between Mathews, his co-conspirators including Cleveland, and customers in which they negotiated the sales of methamphetamine, cocaine hydrochloride, and heroin.  Through their continued monitoring of telephone calls, agents identified a pending narcotics transaction and seized two kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride.  Also, agents and officers obtained search warrants for co-conspirators’ residences and seized approximately 148 grams of heroin and 1,300 grams of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine.

This prosecution was part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Homeland Security Investigations, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office.  The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States