Terrebonne Man Indicted For Trafficking Fentanyl and Firearms Violations

Published 10:30 am Sunday, May 1, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LA – United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that JOSHUA PICOU, age 30, of Houma, Louisiana, was charged on April 28, 2022 in a seven-count indictment by a federal grand jury for violations of the Federal Gun Control Act and Federal Controlled Substances Act. Specifically, he is charged with distributing a substance containing fentanyl and cocaine in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C). He is further charged with possessing fentanyl, cocaine base (“crack”), and cocaine with the intent to distribute in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(B), and 841(b)(1)(C). Additionally, he is charged with   possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1), 922(g)(9), and 924(c)(1)(A)(i), respectively.

According to court documents, PICOU distributed a substance containing fentanyl and cocaine on May 27, June 2, and June 22, 2021. Later, on June 24, 2021, he is alleged to have been in possession of forty (40) grams or more of fentanyl, twenty-eight (28) grams or more of cocaine base, and a quantity of cocaine, with the intent to distribute the substances. On that same date, he is accused of being in possession of two firearms, a Glock Model 17 handgun and a Springfield Armory XDM-9. The indictment charges PICOU with possessing those  firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking activity and while prohibited due to his prior criminal convictions.

If convicted of distribution of fentanyl and cocaine as charged in Counts 1 – 3 or possession with intent to distribute cocaine as charged in Count 4, PICOU faces up to a maximum of twenty (20) years imprisonment, up to a $1,000,000.00 fine, at least three (3) years of supervised release, and a $100.00 mandatory special assessment fee, as to each count.  If convicted of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl or cocaine base, he faces a minimum of five (5) years and a maximum of forty (40) years imprisonment, up to a $5,000,000.00 fine, at least four (4) years of supervised release, and a $100.00 mandatory special assessment fee. If convicted of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, he faces a consecutive minimum of five (5) years and a maximum of life imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, up to five (5) years of supervised release, and a $100.00 mandatory special assessment fee. If convicted of possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a felony offense or misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, he faces up to  a maximum of ten (10) years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, up to three (3) years of supervised release, and a $100.00 mandatory special assessment fee, as to each count.

U.S. Attorney Evans reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

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.

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Homeland Securities Investigations and the Terrebonne Parish Sherriff’s Office in investigating this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles D. Strauss.