New Orleans Man Found Guilty of Drug and Weapons Violations

Published 12:30 pm Sunday, September 25, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LA – United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that DERRICK ESTES, age 42, of New Orleans, was found guilty as charged on September 21, 2022 after a two-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey.

The jury found ESTES guilty as charged as to all four counts in the superseding indictment.  The superseding indictment charged ESTES in Count 1 with possession with intent to distribute a quantity of fentanyl and cocaine.  Count 2 charged ESTES with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and Count 3 charged ESTES with being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Finally, Count 4 charged ESTES with possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and over 40 grams of fentanyl.

The FBI’s New Orleans Violent Crime Task Force worked in conjunction with NOPD during the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans due to a significant increase in shootings and homicides. On January 17, 2021, the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) responded to the shooting of ESTES in the 1400 block of Teche Street in  Algiers.  ESTES did not notify police or EMS of the shooting and was transported to the hospital by his girlfriend.  The hospital notified police of the incident and the approximate location of the shooting.  During that investigation police located surveillance video footage of the shooting and observed ESTES exit his vehicle after the shooting and remove several items from his vehicle to the residence located at 1412 Teche Street, a residence linked to the ESTES family.  Investigators elected to obtain a search warrant and executed the search warrant on the residence. NOPD located several items linked to ESTES, including a significant amount of narcotics, specifically cocaine and fentanyl, drug selling paraphernalia, and three firearms, which included an AK47 rifle.  Investigators had observed ESTES possessing a very similar AK47 rifle on a Real Time Crime Camera following the shooting of his brother, Joe Estes, at a residence on Nunez Street in  Algiers approximately one month prior.  An arrest warrant was issued for ESTES, and he was subsequently arrested on February 1, 2021, at another residence in Algiers.  Following ESTES’ arrest, NOPD conducted a search of that residence and the vehicle he was seen utilizing. That search resulted in the recovery additional narcotics, specifically cocaine and over 40 grams of fentanyl, drug selling paraphernalia, and approximately $2800.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Orleans Police Department.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Inga Petrovich and Mike Trummel of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Violent Crime Unit.