Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearm and Drug Trafficking Charges Stemming from His Participation in New Orleans Hotel Shootout

Published 2:14 pm Wednesday, April 6, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that on April 5, 2022, CLARENCE SANTIAGO, age 22 from New Orleans, pled guilty to various firearm and drug charges stemming from his participation in a December 28, 2020, shootout at the Jung Hotel on Canal Street.

Earlier this year, a federal grand jury handed down two related indictments charging a total of seven individuals with various violations of the Federal Gun Control Act and Federal Controlled Substances Acts for participating in this shootout.  Today, SANTIAGO pled guilty to Counts 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the indictment, charging him with participating in a conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (Count 1) pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(o); using, carrying and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime (Count 2) pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 942(c); conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana (Count 3) pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(b)(1)(D); and, illegally maintaining a drug involved premises (Count 4) pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Section 856.

SANTIAGO will be sentenced on July 12, 2022. Based on his guilty plea, he faces the following sentences:

For Count 1, he faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, not more than 3 years of supervised release, and not more than a $250,000.00 fine;

For Count 2, he will face a mandatory minimum of 10 years up to a maximum of life imprisonment, not more than 5 years of supervised release, and a fine of not more than $250,000.00.  Any prison sentence imposed in connection with this count must be served consecutively to any other prison sentence imposed in connection with this case;

For Count 3, he will face up to a maximum of 5 years in prison, not less than two years of supervised release, and not more than a $250,000.00 fine; and

For Count 4, he will face a sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised released, a fine of not more than $500,000.00.

SANTIAGO must pay a $100 mandatory special assessment fee for each count of conviction.

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.