SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Three area men who admitted guilt in trafficking methamphetamine in the Caddo Parish area last week were sentenced to serve time in federal prison, according to David C. Joseph, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana.
George Alan Highsmith, 48, of Shreveport, Jeffrey Scott Holder and David Tilden Byrd, 45 all pleaded guilty to drug charges in July in federal court.
Highsmith, of Shreveport, pleaded to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking pleaded guilty on July 23, 2019, while Holder, of Stonewall, and Byrd, of Doyline, acknowledged their roles in the conspiracy with intent to distribute methamphetamine on July 2 and July 22, respectively.
Chief U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. on Monday ordered Holder to serve 115 months (9 years, 7 months) in prison; on Tuesday, Byrd was sentenced to five years in prison; and on Friday, Hicks 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.
Both Holder and Byrd also were sentenced to 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 Nov. 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 the 29.8 grams of meth was what remained of five ounces of meth he received from Byrd on Nov. 5, 2018. The investigation revealed that Highsmith and Byrd’s source of supply was an individual in the Dallas, Texas, area.
Then, on Nov. 6, 2018, Louisiana State Police troopers 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.
At that point, Byrd admitted to purchasing one kilogram of methamphetamine from his north Texas supplier on Nov. 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 Oct. 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 arrests and subsequent convictions were due to the efforts of an ensemble cast of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies that included the DEA, the Louisiana State Police, the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Shreveport Police Department, along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown, who put all the information together and made the case.