Recidivist Kenner drug dealer pleads guilty, sentenced to 22 years in prison

Moments after a jury was seated for his trial, a Kenner man agreed to plead guilty as charged on Monday (March 21) to eight narcotics and other offenses in exchange for a 22-year prison sentence.

Charles E. Nelson, 37, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, two counts of possession with intent to distribute hydrocodone, possession with intent to distribute alprazolam, possession of heroin, simple criminal damage to property and resisting arrest.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office narcotics agents booked Nelson on Jan. 11, 2013, after receiving information from a confidential informant that he was selling illegal narcotics in the Fat City area, according to the arrest report. The agent observed Nelson making a hand-to-hand drug sale, followed him and pulled him over for a traffic stop in the 3300 block of Cleary Avenue, according to the report.

Using a drug-sniffing dog, the narcotics agents found a sock in the vehicle’s engine compartment containing crack cocaine, powder cocaine, heroin and hydrocodone, and $613 in small bills inside the vehicle, according to the report.

He was released from the parish jail after posting a $90,000 bond and awaiting trial on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and hydrocodone and possession of heroin when he was arrested again on Nov. 19, records show.

Narcotics agents had obtained information that Nelson again was selling crack cocaine and were seeking him when they learned he had a bench warrant for his arrest because he failed to show up in court in the pending case, prosecutors said.

The agents found him in the 4900 block of York Street in Metairie, and when they attempted to arrest him, he accelerated his vehicle and struck a Sheriff’s Office vehicle, according to the arrest report. Deputies said he resisted arrest by refusing to get out of his vehicle and then struggling with the officers as they tried to place handcuffs on him, according to the report.

They arrested him after finding crack cocaine, powder cocaine and alprazolam and hydrocodone pills. Prosecutors charged him with possession with intent to distribute cocaine, hydrocodone and alprazolam, in addition to simple criminal damage and resisting arrest.

The court spent the day Monday selecting a jury that was to hear testimony on all of the charges. Just after the panel was sworn in, Nelson agreed to a negotiated plea offer, which 24th Judicial District Court Judge Lee Faulkner accepted.

Additionally, Nelson pleaded guilty as a double offender under the state’s career criminal law, because of a 2003 guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Judge Faulkner ran all of Nelson’s sentences concurrently for a total of 22 years.

The judge also ordered Nelson to pay restitution to the Sheriff’s Office in the amount of $3,007, for the damage he caused when he struck the deputy’s vehicle.

Assistant District Attorneys Sloan Abernathy and Linsday Truhe prosecuted the case.

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