Federal agents have filed gun and drug charges against a man who once was linked to a fatal robbery in New Orleans, also alleging that he tried to bribe state troopers with more than $10,000 in cash.
The FBI complaint names 26-year-old Lilbear George, who previously was linked in court filings to a fatal December 2013 armored car holdup. He was booked earlier this week on state counts involving an alleged drug deal in the French Quarter, and that incident also has given federal prosecutors a shot at putting him behind bars.
State Police said they watched a man walk into a private parking lot in the 1000 block of Bienville Street about 8:30 p.m. Monday and start peering into vehicles. He eventually got into a gray 2009 Nissan Maxima, where George was sitting in the driver’s seat, allegedly to conduct a drug deal, State Police said.
Troopers said they found a Glock .40-caliber pistol, 3.5 grams of marijuana, 44 grams of heroin and two full bottles “containing a liquid substance” near George.
Troopers also found about $10,300 in cash, according to the federal complaint. They said George offered them the money to let him go, although he has not been charged with attempted bribery.
George gave the fake name of Allen Santee, according to police.
It wasn’t the first time George has been in the FBI’s crosshairs. Last year, officials said they believed DNA found on a screwdriver in a stolen SUV linked George to a Dec. 13, 2013, robbery of an armored car at a Chase bank at South Carrollton and South Claiborne avenues. The driver of the Loomis truck, Hector Trochez, was killed during the robbery.
George has been booked in state court on a count of illegal possession of stolen items because of the DNA found in the stolen SUV, according to court records. A warrant for his arrest has been outstanding since Dec. 31, 2013. He has not been booked with any crime directly related to Trochez’s death.
George also faces several other state counts in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court alleging illegal possession a stolen license plate, illegal carrying of a weapon with a controlled dangerous substance and possession of marijuana and heroin.
A spokesman for District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office did not immediately answer a question as to whether the federal charges will replace the state gun and drug counts, and a spokesperson for the office of U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite declined to comment.