Judge Gavel on a wooden background, Law library concept.

Two small legal practices have moved into downtown office buildings.

The Baton Rouge offices of Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore are now located on the 11th floor of the Chase North Tower, attorney Matt Bailey told the Downtown Development District Board Tuesday. Sprinkle Law Firm has moved into One American Place, said attorney Richard Sprinkle.

It took four trips to a federal judge, but a convicted Baton Rouge drug dealer has finally benefited from testifying against his brother at a cocaine trafficking trial and enduring the death threats that followed.

After a federal appeals court in January removed a Baton Rouge federal district judge from Broderick Mathes' case because the judge at three prior sentencing hearings failed to consider his "extraordinary cooperation" with the government, a different judge assigned to the case recently gave Mathes a significantly reduced prison term that his attorney says is acceptable.

U.S. District Judge John deGravelles sentenced Mathes to seven years and three months in prison. That 87-month term fell within the applicable sentencing guideline range of 70 to 87 months.

Chief U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick initially imposed a 17 1/2-year prison term on Mathes after he pleaded guilty, then twice gave him sentences of 13 years and four months after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered her to resentence him.

Mathes' lawyer, Franz Borghardt, said an appeal of the sentence imposed by deGravelles is not expected.

"I believe the sentencing presented by the court, which is within the federal guideline range, resolved my client's case," he said Tuesday.

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Borghardt said Mathes will be given credit for the several years he has been behind bars. He'll also be on federal probation for 5 years after his release from prison.

The 5th Circuit noted earlier this year that Mathes assisted the federal government for four years by testifying against his brother, Wilbert Mathes, at his 2016 trial; arranging controlled drug purchases; interpreting phone calls; and providing information about homicides and other drug distribution activities in the area.

Wilbert Mathes twice threatened to kill his brother and once claimed he "had put a hit out" on Broderick Mathes, the appeals court wrote.

At each of Broderick Mathes' sentencings, federal prosecutors noted his substantial cooperation and requested a reduction of his sentencing level.

Dick had explained that she gave Broderick Mathes prison terms above the guideline range because his brother is serving a 27-year sentence for essentially the same conduct in the same criminal conspiracy. The judge said she was trying to avoid unwarranted sentencing disparities.

Wilbert Mathes' cocaine trafficking conviction and sentence were affirmed by the 5th Circuit in 2018. His sentence included forfeiting nearly $600,000 in drug proceeds.


Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.