Thursday, September 23, 2021

Possession of Firearms and Drugs Lead to Time in Federal Prison for Two Louisiana Men

 LAFAYETTE/SHREVEPORT, La. - Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced the resolution of two cases in the Western District of Louisiana today.

Darius Kaleei Nelson, 29, of Lake Charles, Louisiana, was sentenced by United States District Judge James D. Cain, Jr. to 58 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for illegal possession of a firearm. On November 30, 2018, law enforcement officers observed a video which was running over the internet of a female packaging and weighing marijuana. Their investigation determined that the location where the video was taken was a residence in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Officers traveled to the residence and made contact with the female on the video and asked if any narcotics were present in the residence. The female gave officers consent to search the residence and they found a plastic bag with approximately .75 pound of marijuana. The female’s boyfriend, later determined to be Darius Kaleei Nelson, was found upstairs in the bedroom. Nelson gave officers consent to search his bedroom and they found a suitcase containing approximately 8.7 pounds of marijuana. A Glock 9mm handgun and two magazines and a pistol drum magazine were found in the bedroom closet. Nelson originally gave officers a fictitious name, but officers were able to determine his true name and learned that Nelson was a convicted felon and in fact had an outstanding extradition warrant from California for a parole violation from an earlier conviction for second degree robbery in 2015. Nelson admitted the firearm was his and knew that as a convicted felon, he was prohibited from possessing it.

The ATF and Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Ayo prosecuted the case.

Cardaries Marks, 29, of Florien, Louisiana, was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge S. Maurice Hicks, Jr. to 84 months in prison, followed by 4 years of supervised release, for distribution of methamphetamine and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. On September 29, 2020, members of the Northwest Louisiana Violent Crimes Task Force and Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office met regarding their investigation into the sale of narcotics in the Many, Louisiana area. Agents obtained evidence showing Marks handed a bag of suspected methamphetamine and approximately 95 suspected ecstasy pills to an individual and Marks received payment for those narcotics. The purchased narcotics were sent to the crime laboratory for analysis and confirmed to be over 5 grams of methamphetamine and the pills were confirmed to contain methamphetamine with a net weight of 13.116 grams.

Approximately one month later, law enforcement agents obtained additional evidence regarding an encounter which occurred between Marks and another individual. Marks sold two firearms to the individual and he paid Marks $750 for them. As a convicted felon, Marks knew he was prohibited from possessing a firearm. His prior felony convictions were for possession of methamphetamine in July 2019, and possession with intent to distribute narcotics in October 2019.

The FBI, ATF, and Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian C. Flanagan prosecuted the case.

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