New Orleans Man Sentenced for Using Body Shop to Traffic Cocaine

New Orleans Man Sentenced for Using Body Shop to Traffic Cocaine

Hakim Shabazz was convicted of hiding shipments of cocaine in gas canisters in his shop before distributing them.

Hakim Shabazz, 46, of New Orleans, LA, was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in a conspiracy to receive and distribute cocaine, U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced in a news release.

Shabazz was sentenced Nov. 2 by U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey, who also ordered Shabazz's prison sentence to be followed by five years of supervised release, and for Shabazz to pay a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.

According to court records, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office stopped a person traveling from New Orleans to Houston, TX, on Interstate 10, and found $948,174 in cash in the vehicle, as well as several cell phones. Those phones contained text messages about drug trafficking, as well as ledgers. Text messages and phone records led agents to determine Shabazz, who operated an auto body shop, was receiving cocaine shipments, hiding them in gas canisters and distributing them throughout New Orleans. 

Shabazz admitted the conspiracy involved between 50 and 150 kilograms of cocaine.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Haller of the Violent Crime Unit is in charge of the prosecution.

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