NEW ORLEANS RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO POSSESSING A LOADED AK-47 FOUND DURING TRAFFIC STOP AND TO POSSESSING WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE CRACK COCAINE FOUND HIDDEN ON HIS BODY AT JAIL
Published 3:37 pm Wednesday, November 3, 2021
NEW ORLEANS, LA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that BLAKE MONROE, age 31, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, pled guilty on November 2, 2021 to being a felon in possession of a loaded AK-47 seized during a New Orleans Police Department traffic stop and to possessing with intent to distribute a quantity of crack cocaine that was hidden on his body during this stop and found by an Orleans Parish Sheriff deputy during MONROE’s booking at jail.
MONROE is facing a sentence of up to twenty years of imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000,000, at least three years of supervised release upon leaving prison, and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee for the crack cocaine offense, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C). MONROE is facing up to ten years of imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, up to three years of supervised release upon leaving prison, and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee for being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1). MONROE has felony convictions for domestic abuse by strangulation and battery, among other criminal offenses.
According to court records, during a December 11, 2019 traffic stop, NOPD officers observed in plain sight a loaded AK-47, with the selector switch in the fire position, on the back floor of a white Mercedes driven by MONROE. NOPD officers had pulled MONROE over after two NOPD officers who had been conducting undercover surveillance on Chef Menteur Highway in New Orleans East observed MONROE conduct a suspected hand-to-hand crack sale.
During his booking at jail that same afternoon, an Orleans Parish Sheriff Office deputy found approximately 24 grams of crack cocaine that MONROE had hidden on his body. U.S. District Judge Wendy B. Vitter will sentence MONROE on February 15, 2022.
This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Jefferson Parish
Sheriff’s Office, Hammond Police Department, New Orleans Police Department, and Slidell Police Department in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney David Howard Sinkman is in charge of the prosecution.