Narcotics bust nets $480,000 in drugs, goods

Published 2:01 am Saturday, December 2, 2017


Ferriday — Law enforcement officers seized more than $480,000 in drugs, luxury watches and vehicles Thursday night in a Wildsville bust.

Officers found 4,082 grams of marijuana, 907 grams of methamphetamines and 290 grams of liquid THC at a residence that had been identified as a narcotics distribution center.

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Among the controlled substances found in vehicles at the residence was a small baby bottle half-filled with purple-hued liquid codeine.

Along with the cache of drugs, officers found four Rolex watches and a Patek Philippe watch. The Rolex watches were worth on average approximately $40,000 each. The Patek Philippe watch was valued at approximately $180,000.

The combined value of the drugs, cash and vehicles was approximately $140,000.

Henry Michael Jefferson Jr., 23, 201 Sixth St., Ferriday, was arrested on a probation and parole hold Thursday night. More charges are pending, investigators said.

Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief David Hedrick said he was extremely proud of the task force and its work enacting the parish’s zero tolerance policy for drugs.

“All that hard work is paying off, isn’t it?” Hedrick told the officers. “You guys did such good work.”

The Concordia Parish Narcotics Division, comprised of officers from the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office, Vidalia Police Department and Ferriday Police Department, along with the Catahoula Sheriff’s Office and officers from Louisiana Probation and Parole, arrived around 1 a.m. Friday at a wood-frame house on U.S. 84.

Concordia Parish Narcotics Detective John Cowan said when officers first burst through the door using a heavy metal battering ram, one suspect fled.

After the unidentified subject jumped a 6-foot, barbed-wire fence behind the one-story residence, Cowan said officers noticed a vehicle parked out back.

While watching the house before the bust, Cowan said they had seen this vehicle several times.

Upon approaching the SUV Cowan said officers could see clear containers of marijuana in plain sight, prompting officers to receive two more search warrants for each of the vehicles.

Approximately $60,000 in cash was found in a vehicle outside the residence, along with packaging equipment and several luxury items that Cowan said were likely purchased with “ill-gotten gains.”

Officers said the cache included Louis Vuitton and Gucci handbags, suitcases, shoes and clothing as well as flat-screen televisions and other expensive electronics.

Also seized were two vehicles, a Chevrolet Tahoe and a GMC Yukon. The Tahoe had what appeared to be alligator skin or faux alligator skin interior and large silver rims.

Two children, two older individuals and one 23-year-old woman were also in the house at the time of the arrest, Cowan said.

Cowan said this is not Jefferson’s first run in with drugs. In 2015, Jefferson was arrested in Ferriday on charges of possession of a schedule I drugs with intent to sell, carrying weapons while in possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of stolen property.

Jefferson was arrested again in Natchez on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Cowan said he can only remember one or two other busts that compare in the past 15 years.

“This is a career bust for the size of the town and the population of the town,” Cowan said. “We don’t see this often.”

Cowan thanked the officers who participated; many of the officers involved hadn’t slept since Wednesday morning.

Jefferson was being held in the Concordia Parish Jail at 4 p.m. Friday with no bond set.