3 get prison time for fentanyl distribution


United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced three individuals from Natchitoches Parish were sentenced by United States District Judge Dee D. Drell for their involvement in the trafficking of fentanyl.

Makayla Monique Smith, 29, of Campti was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, followed by three years supervised release. Smith was charged in an indictment in July 2020 and pleaded guilty July 7, 2021, to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. In March 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Cenla Safe Streets Task Force began an investigation into the drug trafficking activities of individuals in the Natchitoches area. During their investigation, law enforcement agents learned three USPS Priority Parcels were received in the Natchitoches Post Office addressed to a known vacant address but were returned to the post office as “undeliverable.” An individual called the USPS Hotline to inquire about the parcels and provided a callback number. An agent with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service contacted the individual and she provided him a new address in Campti for the parcels to be delivered.

Law enforcement agents arranged for a narcotic detection K-9 to conduct an open-air narcotics sniff of the parcels and positively alerted to the presence of narcotics. A search warrant was obtained and agents recovered approximately 51 grams of fentanyl. Agents attempted to make a controlled delivery to the new address given but the parcels were refused by an adult female at the address. USPS contacted the individual whom had provided the new address and left a message that the delivery was attempted but the parcels were refused. A male called and told the post office that the packages would be picked up. That afternoon, agents observed two females arrive in a Jeep and enter the post office, retrieve the parcels, drive to a residence in Campti and take the packages into the residence. Soon after, two males arrived and went inside.
A female then exited the residence and placed a box inside the Jeep and the two females and four children got into the Jeep and left, followed by the two males. Agents conducting surveillance observed the two vehicles travel from
Campti to Natchitoches. The agents stopped their vehicles for probable cause.
Smith was the driver of the Jeep and the driver of the other vehicle was her boyfriend and co-defendant. A K-9 officer alerted at the rear of the Jeep to the presence of narcotics and agents searched and found the three packages in the rear area covered by a blanket. Smith and her co-defendants, Jeremy Dewayne Armstrong and Earl Mack Wallace II, were arrested. All three admitted to their involvement in obtaining the fentanyl.

Armstrong, 37, of Natchitoches, and Wallace, II, 39, of Campti, both previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced by Judge Drell to the following: Armstrong received a sentence of 240 months (20 years) in prison, followed by three years supervised release, and Wallace was sentenced to three years probation.
This article published in the Jan. 29, 2022, print edition

The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Natchitoches Police Department investigated the case. U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown prosecuted the case.

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