Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Case Results in Sentences of 58+ Years in Prison for Six Individuals

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SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced the
completion of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation.
Robert Edward Simpson, 49, of Benton, Louisiana, was sentenced by Chief Judge
S. Maurice Hicks, Jr. to 292 months (24 years, 4 months) in prison, followed by 5 years of
supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute
methamphetamine. Simpson was also ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $25,000.
Simpson and five others were indicted by a federal grand jury on drug trafficking
charges in October 2020. On June 24, 2021, Simpson pleaded guilty and admitted to
conspiring with Thomas Shane Benefield, Tania Cedillo, Rosa Palacios a/k/a “Mama,”
Casey Head, and Tanya Simpson-Procell, to distribute and possess with intent to
distribute methamphetamine.
Agents with FBI’s Northwest Louisiana Violent Crime Task Force conducted an
investigation into the drug trafficking activities of Simpson and his co-defendants. They
were able to obtain an order granting permission to wiretap Simpson’s phone which led
agents to learn that Simpson’s drug suppliers were Cedillo and Palacios, who were from
the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Intercepted phone conversations showed that Simpson made
trips at least once a week to the Dallas area and pick up large quantities of
methamphetamine from the different suppliers. Benefield and Simpson-Procell both
helped Simpson distribute methamphetamine to many different buyers and Head was a
regular multi-ounce buyer. Agents obtained evidence that on March 11, 2020, Simpson
sold 55.7 grams of methamphetamine to an individual in Shreveport. He was arrested on
June 18, 2020 and admitted to buying methamphetamine in the Dallas area and
distributing it in the Shreveport/Bossier City area.
The following co-defendants have each already been sentenced:
• Thomas Shane Benefield, 46, of Bossier City, was previously sentenced to 168 months (14 years) in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
• Casey Head, 39, of Bossier City, Louisiana, was previously sentenced to 60 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
• Tania Cedillo, 35, of Dallas, Texas, was previously sentenced to 57 months in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
• Rosa Palacios a/k/a “Mama,” 52, of Dallas, Texas, was previously sentenced to 24 months in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
• Tanya Simpson-Procell, 48, of Bossier City, was previously sentenced to 110 months (9 years, 2 months) in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Northwest Louisiana Violent Crime Task Force, Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office and Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Aaron Crawford and Mike Shannon.
This effort is part of an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
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