After a seven-month-long drug investigation, the Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s Office and Louisiana State Police collaborated for one of the largest drug busts in Pointe Coupee Parish history.
The operation yielded 12 arrests and the seizure of 2 semiautomatic handguns (1 stolen out of Pointe Coupee), 1 AR-15 rifle, Heroin – 18.6 pounds approx., Cocaine – 1.2 pounds approx., Methamphetamine – 1.2 pounds approx., Marijuana – 4.4 pounds approx., Pressed Pills – 25 grams approx., Synthetic Marijuana – 1.4 pounds approx. The seized narcotics have an estimated total street value of $600,000.00.
The agencies held a press conference Friday morning to discuss details of the investigation.
“We had a joint effort and possibly took part in one of the largest drug busts in Pointe Coupee History,” Pointe Coupee Sheriff Rene Thibodeaux said. “It was a cumulative effort that took quite a bit of time. If you watch TV at any time today, you will see that in every parish, we’re dealing with the harmful effects of these drugs, whether it’s crystal meth, heroin, cocaine and other drugs. In this drug bust, all five of the top drugs were involved.”
Col. Lamar Davis with LSP said the process was a community effort and the information provided was helpful in locating suspects.
District Attorney Tony Clayton said the amount of drugs seized symbolizes a potential problem in the area.
“In my 30 years of prosecuting, I’ve never seen such collaboration that I’ve seen in this case,” Clayton said. “I’ll say this is mid-city level type of drugs. When you see a little city like New Roads with this, we got problems.”
Pointe Coupee Parish Coroner Donald Doucet said the overdose deaths are trending to be the highest in the last four years. There were seven drug overdose deaths in both 2020 and 2021. As of Aug. 12, there have been six overdose deaths in Pointe Coupee.
The emergency room visits involving drugs in 2022 have already surpassed each of the previous three years.
“These are situations that put the staff potentially at risk,” Doucet said. “Some of them are very violent, these situations just require a short period to stabilize. Sometimes they’re in the hospital for days. So you can see the impact of how this is affecting the health care system.”
The following individuals were arrested on various narcotics charges:
· 43-year-old Elie Edwards of New Roads Attempt and Conspiracy-Distribution of Heroin, Methamphetamine, Marijuana/Synthetic Cannabinoids, Cocaine, Schedule IV (Felony), Distribution/Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, Distribution/Possession with Intent to Distribute Schedule II CDS- Methamphetamine (Felony), Distribution/Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, or synthetic cannabinoids Felony), Illegal Possession of Stolen Firearms (Felony), Possession of Firearm or Carrying Concealed Weapon by a Person Convicted or Certain Felonies (Felony)
· 42-year-old David Hayes of New Roads, LAAttempt and Conspiracy (Felony), Distribution/Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin (Felony), Prohibited Acts-Schedule II (Felony), and Prohibited Acts-Schedule IV (Felony)
· 43-year-old Shannon Labatut of New Roads, LAAttempt and Conspiracy-Distribution of Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Marijuana/Synthetic Cannabinoids (Felony), Distribution/Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, or synthetic cannabinoids (Felony), Distribution/Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin (Felony)
· 31-year-old Jerlanda Foster of New Roads, LAAttempt and Conspiracy (Felony)
· 53-year-old Loretta Dobard of New Roads, LA booked for Attempt and Conspiracy (Felony), Malfeasance in Office (Felony)
· 36-year-old Mary Victorian of New Roads, LAAttempt and Conspiracy (Felony), Transactions involving proceeds from drug offenses
· 61-year-old William Tynes of Ethel, LADistribution/Possession with Intent to Distribute Narcotic Drugs Listed in Schedule 1 (Felony), and Prohibited Acts-Schedule IV, Penalties (Felony)
· 32-year-old Bryan Francois of New Roads, LAAttempt and Conspiracy- Distribution/Possession with intent to distribute Schedule II CDS (Felony)
· 30-year-old Darrel Harris of New Roads, LAAttempt and Conspiracy- Distribution/Possession with intent to distribute Schedule 1 and Schedule II (CDS)
· 41-year-old Joshua Gustin of Ventress, LAAttempt and Conspiracy- Distribution/Possession with intent to distribute Schedule 1 and Schedule II (CDS) Felony
· 34-year-old Leighann Kirby of Jarreau, LAAttempt and Conspiracy- Prohibited Acts-Schedule II, and Obstruction of Justice-Evidence Tampering
· 40-year-old Michael A Edwards of New Roads, LA Attempt and Conspiracy to Distribution of Schedule II CDS
Davis said the investigation is ongoing and he expects more arrests to come.