Federal Government

U.S. Courthouse in Shreveport

SHREVEPORT, La. – Trial proceedings for seven people facing federal drug charges in connection with Operation Hustle City were canceled Monday because of the inability to accommodate everyone while still practicing COVID-19 social distancing protocols.

A new trial date has not been set.

Scheduled for trial were Shamariay Duntae Locke, Jeremy Rechard Francis, Robert Lynn Baulkman, Frank Gilford Joshua IV, Keynon Letray Frazier, Michael Shane Haynes and Garrett Oshann Sudds.

They were among 13 initially indicated last fall in connection with the special drug operation that targeted drug trafficking activities in the Shreveport and Bossier City areas. Another 27 people were arrested on state drug charges.

In a court order signed this month, U.S. Chief District Judge Maurice Hicks Jr. said while there has been limited resumption of jury trials in the federal court system, the current layout of the courtroom cannot accommodate a “multi-defendant trial of this magnitude” while at the same time working within the distance requirements of the pandemic.

The cases were referred to Magistrate Judge Mark Hornsby for further scheduling. Hicks noted the continuance is excluded under the Speedy Trial Act.

“The court finds the ends of justice served by ordering the continuance of this matter outweigh the best interests of the public and the defendants in a speedy trial. In fact, the best interests of the public are served by continuing this matter,” Hicks wrote in his order.

Operation Hustle City was a long-term investigation that began in 2016 and culminated in October. It was led by the DEA’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force which is comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers working jointly on drug trafficking cases in the Western District of Louisiana.

KTBS 3-Investigates broke news of this operation as the law enforcement agencies were actively busy picking up the defendants. Sources told KTBS the investigation included wiretaps that led officers to homes and even storage facilities in search of drugs, cash and guns. Numerous high-end vehicles were seized and parked temporarily in front of the Troop G headquarters in Bossier City. Large quantities of marijuana, methamphetamine, crack cocaine and powder cocaine were also seized. 

Here's a look at the charges facing those who were scheduled for trial this week:

  • Locke, also known as Shu, Supa Shu, 35 of Haughton, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana, distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and two counts of distribution of marijuana.
  • Francis, also known as Casper, 37, of Shreveport, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana and two counts of distribution of marijuana.
  • Baulkman, also known as “Fridge,” 34, Shreveport, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana, distribution of marijuana, distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Joshua, also known as “Bubba,” 33, Shreveport, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana, four counts of distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Frazier, also known as “Green Eyes, 25, Shreveport, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana and two counts of distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Haynes, 42, Bossier City, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana, distribution of marijuana. Haynes also charged with a sentencing enhancement based upon his criminal history.
  • Sudds, 38, Bossier City, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana, distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
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