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Dec 17, 2009 7:41 PM by Sarah Rosario

13 Face up to life in Prison for Drug Trafficking and Firearm Offenses

A wanted drug dealer is on the run tonight. 30 year old Courtland Lamar Malbrough told police he would turn himself in today but did not. Malbrough is one of 13 who were federally indicted Tuesday. They are all now facing charges for drug trafficking and felony firearm charges related to the organized distribution of powder crack and cocaine within Lafayette.

These 13 drug dealers from the Truman area call themselves the "Truman Cartel." they've been under investigation by the South Central Louisiana Gang task force since early 2008. Police say they've received several calls from concerned citizens who live in that area. However we went out there today and talked to a couple of them who say they never knew it was this bad.

"When you look outside it looks like a pretty decent area. I never knew none of that was going on around here," said Truman Resident Ieacha Joseph.

For the last year and a half a multi agent FBI task force has been investigating the Truman area. "22 drug dealers have been removed from our community this month and that hopefully will put a big dent in trafficking distribution activities," said Police Chief Jim Craft. Tuesday, 13 of those from Truman, were federally indicted for having and planning to distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. Officials say the leader of the group, Martin Victor Jr. and co-conspirators would buy the cocaine and give it to others in the group to sell, and convert in into a cocaine base. Of the 13 one is female, 31 year old Amelia Victor, the wife of Martin Victor, Jr.

Officials say the Victors were using their house on 124 Rosewood Avenue to do a majority of their drug dealings which is why it has since been confiscated and taken for evidence by the task force. In addition, police have seized more than 75-thousand dollars, three guns and real estate alleged to be drug proceeds. Truman Resident Joseph Francis said, "They give me all the respect I ask for so I can't say anything bad about this neighborhood. "That's why I stay to myself. I don't mess with people in the streets. Now that I know about it, it bothers me a little bit," said Joseph.

Every one of the 13 is now facing a minimum mandatory 10 years to life in prison. Officials are calling these people career criminals. In all, these thirteen have been arrested a total of 191 times. With one on the run, the 12 were arraigned today. Some are jailed in Breaux bridge others in Acadia parish.

When found Malbrough will face one charge of conspiracy. He can get 10 years to life in prison for that. Officials say anyone who tries to help him will also face federal charges.

Sarah Rosario

srosario@katctv.com

 

 

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