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Washington Parish Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun and Drug Violations

Human RightsWashington Parish Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun and Drug Violations

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – VINCENT PETERS, age 33, a resident of Bogalusa, Louisiana, pled guilty on September 13, 2023, before U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance to Counts 1, 3, 5, 8, and 9 of the indictment pending against him. Count 1 charged him with being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2), relative to his participation in a Bogalusa mass shooting on May 16, 2020. He also pled guilty to several drug distribution charges and another firearm charge stemming from a subsequent investigation by the Bogalusa Police Department and the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office. In Counts 3, 5, and 8, he was charged with distribution of heroin and fentanyl and with possession with the intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C). In Count 9, he was charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c).

According to court documents, on May 16, 2020, an “Unauthorized Assembly” (During Phase I of the COVID-19 Pandemic Re-Opening) occurred, resulting in several hundred people, assembling in a “Celebration of Life,” honoring a recent Bogalusa murder victim. During the celebration, an altercation between rival factions resulted in the shooting of thirteen (13) people. Four (4) victims were paralyzed due to their shooting injuries.

During a follow-up investigation, law enforcement learned that PETERS sold illegal narcotics and made several controlled purchased of illegal drugs from him. A subsequent warrant-based search of his residence also revealed additional drugs and a firearm.

Based on his guilty plea, PETERS will face the following sentences as to each count:

Count 1: Violation: Possession of a firearm by a felon, in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1);

Statutory Sentence: 0-10 yrs., up to a $250,000 fine, up to 3 years of supervised release.

Count 3: Violation: Distribution of heroin, in violation of Title 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C);

Statutory Sentence: 0-20 yrs., up to a $1,000,000 fine, at least 3 years of supervised release.

Count 5: Violation: Distribution of heroin, in violation of Title 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C);

Statutory Sentence: 0-20 yrs., up to a $1,000,000 fine, at least 3 years supervised release.

Count 8: Violation: Possession with the intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl, in violation of Title 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C);

Statutory Sentence: 0-20 yrs., up to a $1,000,000 fine, at least 3 years of supervised release.

Count 9: Violation: Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 924(c);

Statutory Sentence: 5 years-life, up to a $250,000 fine, up to 5 years of supervised release. Any sentence imposed in connection with this count must be served consecutive to any other sentence.

PETERS faces payment of a $100 mandatory special assessment fee as to each charged count. PETER’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 3, 2024.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Bogalusa Police Department, and the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Maurice E. Landrieu, Jr. of the Narcotics Unit.

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Story from www.atf.gov

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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