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Louisiana

Three Men Sentenced in Methamphetamine-Trafficking Conspiracy

SHREVEPORT, La. – David C. Joseph, United States Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana announced that three men responsible for trafficking methamphetamine in the Caddo Parish area have been sentenced to serve time in federal prison.

George Alan Highsmith, 48, of Shreveport, pleaded guilty on July 23, 2019, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Jeffrey Scott Holder, 52, of Stonewall, Louisiana, and David Tilden Byrd, 45, of Doyline, Louisiana, admitted their guilt on July 2, 2019 and July 22, 2019, respectively. Both men acknowledged their roles in the conspiracy with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Today, Chief United States District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. sentenced Highsmith to serve 11 years in prison, to be followed by a five-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison. On December 9, 2019, Judge Hicks ordered Holder to serve 115 months (9 years, 7 months) in prison, and on December 10, 2019, sentenced Byrd to five years in prison. Both received five years of supervised release.

The sentencings were the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) after learning that Byrd, Highsmith and Holder were distributors of methamphetamine in the Caddo Parish area. Holder was supplied by Highsmith; Byrd and Highsmith often collaborated to distribute the meth. On November 6, 2018, the DEA and Louisiana State Police organized a controlled telephone call between Byrd and Highsmith, during which Highsmith agreed to purchase seven ounces of methamphetamine from Byrd at the Horseshoe Casino Hotel parking garage. When Highsmith arrived to meet Byrd, he was taken into custody.

After Highsmith’s arrest, he consented to a search of his hotel room where agents found 29.8 grams of pure methamphetamine, a drug scale, a Sig Saur 9mm semi-automatic handgun with one round of ammunition in the chamber and 12 additional rounds in the magazine, an additional 9mm magazine containing 10 rounds of ammunition found inside an open safe located in the hotel room closet, and $1,970 in drug proceed money. Highsmith admitted that the 29.8 grams of meth was what remained of five ounces of meth he received from Byrd on November 5, 2018. The investigation revealed that Highsmith and Byrd’s source of supply was an individual in the Dallas, Texas, area.

On November 6, 2018, Louisiana State Police initiated a stop on Byrd’s vehicle for a traffic violation. Byrd consented to a search of his vehicle and troopers found approximately 475 grams of pure methamphetamine, syringes, two metal bowls, and a drug scale hidden above the rear fender of the pickup truck. Byrd admitted to purchasing one kilogram of methamphetamine from his north Texas supplier on November 5, 2018 for $7,600 and that he had purchased approximately three kilograms of methamphetamine from the same supplier from August 2018 until his arrest.

Holder was arrested on October 23, 2018, by a DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop of his vehicle that produced 122.69 grams of pure methamphetamine found in a black bag on the back floorboard.

The DEA, Louisiana State Police, Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Shreveport Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown prosecuted the case.