Two men were sentenced to prison on Friday as a result of Operation Dirty Bird, an extensive federal, state, and local investigation aimed at dismantling a large-scale heroin trafficking network based in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, and Houston, Texas.
The indictment charged individuals with significant drug trafficking, racketeering, firearm, and conspiracy charges. Investigative efforts have resulted in the seizure of over one and a half kilograms of heroin, substantial amounts of methamphetamine, crack cocaine, and oxycodone.
Authorities have also seized seven firearms, over $314,000 in drug proceeds, and three vehicles allegedly used in the drug trafficking venture: a 2013 Porsche 911, a Mercedes CLS550, and a GMC Hummer. To date, 11 defendants have been sentenced, two defendants are pending sentencing, and two defendants are awaiting trial.
On Friday, 37-year-old Jablonski “Blossy” Hankton and 39-year-old Desmond Smith were sentenced to prison terms. Hankton received a sentence of 95 months in federal prison following his convictions for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and unlawful use of a communications facility.
According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, Hankton bought heroin from Jason Muse to sell to others in and around Ascension Parish. Furthermore, he used a telephone on numerous occasions to discuss the distribution of heroin with Jason Muse.
Smith was charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, and unlawful use of communication facilities. He was also charged with conspiracy to distribute five grams or more of methamphetamine and distribution of five grams or more of methamphetamine. Smith was sentenced in both matters to 10 years in federal prison in each case, to run concurrently.
Just like Hankton, Smith admitted to buying heroin from Jason Muse to sell to others in and around Ascension Parish and traveling to McComb, Mississippi, from Louisiana with an accomplice for the purpose of purchasing methamphetamine.
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