New Orleans man pleads guilty to various drug trafficking and firearms crimes, resulting in the shooting of DEA Task Force Officer Stephen Arnold
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NEW ORLEANS – Jarvis Hardy, age 29, of New Orleans, Louisiana, pleaded guilty this week to multiple charges that led to the shooting of a DEA task force officer. Hardy is charged with conspiring to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute 280 grams or more of a mixture/substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base; distribution of a quantity of cocaine base; discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and a drug trafficking crime; and intent to distribute twenty-eight grams or more of cocaine base.    

The guilty plea followed a DEA investigation that revealed beginning no later than January 2015 and continuing until his arrest, Hardy distributed crack cocaine virtually every day throughout the streets of New Orleans. As a part of that investigation, DEA made four separate controlled buys of ¼ and ½ ounce quantities of crack cocaine from Hardy over an approximate ten-month timespan. Based on those controlled purchases, an arrest warrant for Hardy, along with a search warrant were obtained.  

In the early morning hours of January 26, 2016, a team of law enforcement officers, led by DEA, gathered to prepare for the execution of Hardy’s arrest warrant. DEA TFO Stephen Arnold and several other agents and task force officers knocked and announced their presence and intention to execute the search warrant. As TFO Arnold led the team through the house, Hardy fired his Smith and Wesson .40 caliber pistol, three times at Arnold from a few feet away, striking him twice in the neck and arm.

At his home, Hardy had approximately 1 ½ ounces of crack cocaine, which later tested positive for cocaine base, and $985 in a safe in his bedroom, as well as instruments consistent with the conversion of cocaine hydrochloride to cocaine base, such as a crock pot. Hardy also had razor blades, a grinder, a mixer, and a digital scale. He also possessed two firearms, one of which he used to shoot TFO Arnold, and one which he kept near the safe with his cash and crack cocaine.

Stephen Arnold was a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Detective and was a deputized DEA Task Force Officer with the DEA New Orleans, Louisiana Field Office.

Although Stephen Arnold survived the shooting, he remains completely incapacitated and receives 24 hour care in an assisted facility. 

This prosecution was the result of an intensive joint investigation conducted by Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the New Orleans Police Department and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

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