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Owner of Desperado’s In Carencro Indicted, Others Indicted In Case

Desperado's
Desperado’s (KPEL)

The owner of Desperado’s Cabaret in Carencro has been indicted in a superseding indictment along with nine other people on racketeering conspiracy and drug charges.

Jim Panos has been charged with four counts in the indictment unsealed yesterday.

The United State Attorney Stephanie Finley says the charges come after an investigation of drug trafficking, drug distribution, prostitution and other illegal activity that they contend happened at Desperado’s on Northeast Evangeline Thruway.

Panos has been charged with:

  • Racketeering conspiracy
  • Conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premises
  • Distribution of controlled substances
  • Possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number
  • Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person

Two co-defendants have been charged with one count of racketeering conspiracy:
Jennifer “Nancy” Panos, 47, Broussard
Dipak Vora, 69, Baton Rouge

The co-defendants charged with one count of conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premises and distribution of controlled substances are:

  • Jennifer “Nancy” Panos, 47, Broussard
  • Elias “E.J.” White, 52, Lafayette
  • Heike Slattery, 41, Carencro
  • Crystal Sampy, 51, Lafayette
  • Acquila Shanete “Sexy” Latigue, 27, Lafayette
  • Gerald Cormier, 43, Carencro
  • Tanja Clavier, 28, Lafayette
  • Lydia “Unique” Gauthreaux, 31, Crowley

The racketeering conspiracy charge carries penalties of up to 20 years in prison, a fine of not more than twice the gross profits, and three years supervised release.

The conspiracy to maintain a drug involved premises charge carries penalties of up to 20 or 30 years in prison, fines of up to $500,000 to $2 million, and supervised release of three to six years.

James Panos faces five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release for the possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number charge. He also faces 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release for the possession of a firearm by a prohibited person charge.

The defendants are scheduled to appear for arraignment on May 29, 2013.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, Louisiana State Police and Lafayette Metro Narcotics investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Myers P. Namie and Daniel J. McCoy prosecuted the case.

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