United States Attorney Ronald C. Gathe, Jr. announced that U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson sentenced Reuben Maurice Crawford, age 36, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to 110 months in federal prison following his convictions for unlawful use of communications facilities in furtherance of drug trafficking activities and possession of contraband in prison. The Court further sentenced Crawford to serve one year of supervised release following his term of imprisonment.
According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, Crawford was involved with a drug trafficking organization that distributed large quantities of controlled substances in the Middle District of Louisiana. On June 7, 2017, Crawford and another member of the organization discussed collection of drug trafficking proceeds from other members of the organization. On June 19, 2017, Crawford called another member and warned him that he was being surveilled by federal agents. Crawford then instructed the member to meet him at a bar so that he could take him to the federal law enforcement office and show him the vehicles used to conduct surveillance.
In June 2021, on two separate occasions, while housed as an inmate at West Baton Rouge Parish Prison, Crawford possessed cellular telephones, which are prohibited objects in prison under federal law.
U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Gathe, Jr. stated, “This sentence demonstrates that we will use all tools at our disposal to bring to justice those who deal drugs in our community. The combined federal, state, and local efforts that culminated in this conviction once again reflect our unified front against crime in this district. I appreciate the tremendous dedication and hard work by the agents and prosecutors who worked tirelessly on this important matter.”
U.S. Marshal Bill Brown stated, “When prisoners in our custody violate the law, we will seek to hold them accountable.”
This investigation is another effort by the OCDETF Program, which was established in 1982 to mount a comprehensive attack against organized drug traffickers. Today, the OCDETF Program is the centerpiece of the United States Attorney General’s drug strategy to reduce the availability of drugs by disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, money laundering organizations, and related criminal enterprises. The OCDETF Program operates nationwide and combines the resources and unique expertise of numerous federal, state, and local agencies in a coordinated attack against major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.
These matters were investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer Kleinpeter and Harley Ferguson.