Racketeering count added against 15
More than a month’s worth of secretly recorded phone conversations by law enforcement culminated Wednesday with an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury indicting 26 people, including 15 on drug-related racketeering charges that carry possible hefty prison terms.
One six-count indictment charges alleged ringleader Cornelius Wilson, 40, 203 Sinbad St., Baton Rouge, and 14 others with violating Louisiana’s racketeering act.
A racketeering conviction is punishable by up to 50 years behind bars.
“Hopefully it will have a significant impact on these individuals,” East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said of the racketeering charges.
“It’s a drug-dealing conspiracy,” he added outside the 19th Judicial District Courthouse.
Moore said authorities have begun the process of seizing money from some of the defendants’ bank accounts.
He described most of those charged in the racketeering indictment as mid-level drug dealers.
Prosecutor Dana Cummings said the racketeering defendants played an active role in the drug-trafficking operation.
Wilson, a convicted felon, also is charged in that indictment with five counts of illegal possession of a firearm.
A second eight-count indictment names Wilson and 11 others, and accuses all but one of them on drug-conspiracy charges. Others are charged with drug possession and illegal carrying of a weapon. Cummings labeled those in the second indictment as drug users.
The drugs involved in the indictments include methamphetamine, Oxycodone, Alprazolam and anabolic steroids.
Moore said the multi-agency investigation involved the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Louisiana State Police, West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office and Baton Rouge Police Department, and featured recorded drug buys and search warrants that yielded guns and drugs.
Two telephones were tapped for more than a month, the district attorney said.
“We have many, many phone calls,” he said. “Too many to count.”
Moore said he believes the drug dealing has been going on for years.
In addition to Wilson, the other racketeering defendants from Baton Rouge are Shawn Walksontop, 48, 1887 Jefferson Highway; Edris Range, 43, 956 N. Donmoor Ave.; Dereck Myers, 29, 10464 River Oaks Drive; Jodi Parker, 40, 4370 Brookstown Drive; and Christopher Trainor, 39, 9532 E. Damuth Drive.
Five of those facing racketeering charges are from Zachary: Ashley Oakley, 26, and Karly Oakley, 28, both of 5023 Kennedy Drive; Kayla Renee Dunaway, 24, 5818 DeAnne Marie Drive; Ferrin Barton, 26, 5575-A McHost Road; and Teddie Huggins, 26, 13511 Jackson Road.
The remaining racketeering defendants include Polo Mouton, 30, 1421 Basswood Drive, Denham Springs; Lance Songy, 30, 41039 Fairmont Ave., Prairieville; Magen Rae Depew, 22, 42033 Janile St., Gonzales; and James Lee Myles, 50, of Houston.
Wilson is joined in the second indictment by Baton Rouge residents Sidney Pecora Sr., 52, and Sidney Pecora Jr., 27, both of 5455 Plank Road; Ryan Burychka, 33, 11011 Cal Road; and Gary Fieldings, 22, 3368 Crestaire Drive; Baker residents Marla Kimball, 32, and Chad Carter, 37, both of 8111 Comite Drive; Kurt Perkins, 26, 10232 Magnolia Blossom Ave., Greenwell Springs; Kelly Moore, 29, 36190 Caraway Road, Denham Springs; Ryan Grezaffi, 24, 38252 St. Barts Court, Gonzales; Natalie Roussel, 42, 36324 Maplewood, Prairieville; and Edward Dudley, 25, 206 Wilson Lane, Port Barre.
Fieldings is the only defendant in that indictment not charged with conspiracy. He does face charges of drug possession and illegal carrying of a weapon while possessing drugs.
The indictments have been assigned to state District Judge Tony Marabella.