Friday, August 24, 2007
Wild, Wild East. Another Muder for Hire Plot.
The plotter: Devaughan Smith of Kenner, Louisiana
The target: A fellow drug associate
The hired gun: Another associate, who was offered crack cocaine to do the job
How we caught him: The man Smith wanted to hire contacted us; he then worked undercover and recorded Smith talking about the plot.
Result: Smith was found guilty in March and faces up to 10 years on the charge.
FEDERAL JURY RETURNS GUILTY VERDICT ON FEDERAL MURDER-FOR-HIRE PLOT AND DRUG CHARGES
DEVAUGHAN SMITH a/k/a "Devaughn Smith" a/k/a "Devaughn S. Smith", age 32, a resident of Kenner, Louisiana, was convicted by a federal jury sitting in New Orleans after a 2 day trial, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten. SMITH was charged with one (1) count of violating the Federal Drug Controlled Act and one (1) count of Use of an Interstate Commerce Facility in the Commission of Murder-For-Hire.
Specifically, SMITH was charged in a superseding indictment with distribution of less than five(5) grams of cocaine base (crack) and Murder-for-Hire. The jury found defendant SMITH guilty as to each of the two (2) counts charged.
As to the crack cocaine count, SMITH faces a period of imprisonment of up to twenty (30) years, a fine of up to $2,000,000, and at least a six (6) year period of supervised release.
As to the Murder-for-Hire charge, the jury unanimously found that SMITH used and caused someone to use a cellular telephone with the intent that a murder be committed in violation of the laws of Louisiana. SMITH intended to make payment for the murder in the form of cocaine base (crack). SMITH, therefore, faces up to ten (10) years of imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and up to a three (3) year period of supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled to take place before the Honorable Carl J. Barbier on June 27, 2007.
Count 1 of the superseding indictment stemmed from an August 16, 2006 undercover controlled buy of crack cocaine from SMITH near the 3100 block of Loyola Avenue in Kenner, Louisiana.
Count 2 of the superseding indictment related to SMITH'S wish to have one of his drug associates murdered after SMITH'S August 29, 2006 release from Jefferson Parish lock-up. An associate of SMITH, who was approached by SMITH to commit the murder, contacted the FBI. SMITH's associate worked in an undercover capacity and recorded conversations in which SMITH discussed the murder-for-hire plot.
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as the Kenner Police Department.
The matter was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Duane A. Evans and Steven I. Loew.