NEW ORLEANS, LA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that U.S. District Court Judge Wendy B. Vitter sentenced LIONEL COOLEY, age 45, a resident of Slidell, Louisiana, on May, 10, 2022, to 78 months of imprisonment , four years of supervised release and a mandatory $200 special assessment fee for conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and 28 grams or more of crack, and for providing an AK-47 firearm to codefendant Blake Monroe that was used to facilitate Monroe’s crack sales, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(B), and 846, and Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(o). COOLEY plead guilty on October 27, 2021.
According to court documents, the United States forfeited approximately $18,978.00, assorted jewelry, and a Smith & Wesson revolver that were seized in connection with the investigation. COOLEY and four others, Joseph Brown, Kendrick Demourelle, Kevin Gray, and Blake Monroe, conspired to sell illegal narcotics in Orleans Parish including using a broken-down yellow school bus as a stash house. A seized GMC Sierra pickup truck used by a member of this drug conspiracy contained nearly two kilograms of cocaine and 430 grams of crack. All five defendants were indicted in February 2020.
This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Hammond Police Department, New Orleans Police Department, and Slidell Police Department in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorneys David Howard Sinkman and Alexandra Giavotella, Asset Forfeiture, are in charge of the prosecution.