Federal Grand Jury Returns Indictment in Fentanyl Case

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

SHREVEPORT, La. – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging three individuals with drug conspiracy and firearm charges, announced United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown.

Martin William Thompson, 51, of Stonewall, Louisiana, Rachel Ann Hassell, 44, and Courtney Renee Cox, 38, both of Shreveport, have each been indicted and charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl resulting in death and serious bodily injury. Thompson and Hassell were also both charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin and using or maintaining drug premises. In addition, Thompson was charged with two counts of possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.

The indictment alleges that from January 2021 and continuing until October 2021, all three defendants conspired together to distribute a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, and death and serious bodily injury resulted from the use of fentanyl.  

The indictment also alleges that in October 2021, Thompson and Hassell knowingly and intentionally possessed with intent to distribute heroin.  It is further alleged that Thompson and Hassell unlawfully and knowingly used and maintained a place located at 2911 Williamson Way, Shreveport, Louisiana, for the purpose of distributing and using fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana. The firearm charges in the indictment allege that in October 2021, Thompson possessed numerous firearms and silencers in furtherance of the drug trafficking crimes.

An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, these defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison, on the conspiracy charge. Thompson and Hassell face up to 20 years in prison on the drug possession and using or maintaining drug premises charges, and fines of not more than $10,000,000. The firearms charges carry a maximum sentence of 30 years to life in prison.

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The case is being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert F. Moody.

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