From The Tribune Staff Reports
BIRMINGHAM — A federal judge sentenced a Birmingham man on drug charges on Tuesday, October 12, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and U.S. Postal Inspection Service Acting Inspector-in-Charge, Houston Division, Dana Carter.
U.S. District Court Judge Annemarie C. Axon sentenced Louis Dejuan Owens, 44, to 290 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Owens pleaded guilty to the charge in May.
“Methamphetamine continues to devastate communities across Alabama,” said Escalona. “Keeping dangerous drugs off the streets helps reduce violence and saves lives. We are grateful for the work of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency on this case.”
“Louis Dejuan Owens’ greed placed the lives of U.S. Postal Service workers and the community at large in grave risk with little regard to their safety,” said Carter. “Today’s criminal sentence calling for over two decades in prison is a firm reminder that postal inspectors, partnering with other law enforcement agencies, such as ALEA, persistently work in the background to keep the U.S. Mail safe and secure.”
According to the plea agreement, on four separate occasions between October 4, 2019, and November 1, 2019, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency-State Bureau of Investigations (ALEA-SBI) special agents used a confidential informant to make numerous controlled purchases of methamphetamine from Owens.
On November 1, 2019, ALEA-SBI special agents and the State Trooper Tactical Team established surveillance in the location where the final buy was to take place. As Owens arrived, State Troopers attempted to stop Owens. Owens attempted to flee, and his vehicle struck a utility pole. Owens was taken into custody by the State Troopers, who found large quantities of methamphetamine in his vehicle.
Evidence at sentencing revealed that, on November 1, 2019, Owens was in possession of at least 1810 net grams of 98 percent pure methamphetamine. In addition, State Troopers seized narcotics packaging materials and over $7,000. The United States forfeited the money at the sentencing.
U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case along with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison J. Garnett prosecuted the case.