Officers arrest 12, seize $10,000 in morning drug bust

Published 10:23 am Tuesday, April 10, 2018

 — National and local law enforcement officers arrested 12 people and found a cache of drugs, drug paraphernalia and guns in a Tuesday morning narcotics bust.

More than 40 officers with the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, FBI’s Central Louisiana Safe Streets Task Force, Louisiana State Police, Louisiana State Probation and Parole office and Vidalia Police Department executed search warrants simultaneously at approximately 5:30 a.m. Tuesday in five locations in Ferriday, Vidalia and Clayton.

Altogether, the law enforcement officers said they found more than 20 ounces of crystal methamphetamine and 48 ounces of marijuana along with drug paraphernalia, an assortment of controlled drug substance pills and more than $13,000 in cash.

Officers also confiscated several handguns, shotguns, ammunition and an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle in the course of the investigation.

The AK-47, authorities said, was illegally modified with a handgun’s grip and was found on a couch in a Gremillion Street house. On the coffee table was a Mason jar with trace amounts of marijuana inside, investigators said.The bust was a long-term effort of the Concordia Parish Special Operations Group, wherein officers monitored five locations believed-to-be drug distribution centers.

Concordia Parish Chief Deputy David Hedrick said the investigation into the suspected distribution centers “yielded the arrests we expected and will yield further arrests in the future.”

Before strapping on bulletproof vests and grabbing battering rams, the officers sat in the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office training center to review the plan.

Investigator Sgt. John Cowan showed aerial and street-level footage of each of the targeted locations and discussed entry tactics, possible threats, suspected occupants in the houses and the nearest medical facilities — in case anything went wrong.

The officers divided into five teams, with five to 10 officers on each team — one for each of the suspected drug distribution centers.

They found the drugs in broken cars, dresser drawers, small plastic bags in a bedroom.

In one mildew-covered car in Ferriday near Eugene Road, officers found a cookies and cream ice cream canister — inside of which was just more than a pound of crystal methamphetamine.

In another house near Texas Street, small pre-packaged bags of marijuana were nestled in a candy wrapper.

In several of the houses sat wives, siblings, mothers, girlfriends or children. In one residence, a bedridden woman lay just a dozen feet from a stash of different narcotics, including hydrocodone, Xanax and MDMA.

Cowan said he was proud of his officers, who he said devoted many, many hours to the investigation and helped to execute the warrants without incidents.

“My guys have been working on this for months, every day until about 2 a.m. for the past two weeks,” Cowan said. “We got a lot of this stuff off the streets, so it was a good day.”

Hedrick said federal law enforcement has been involved in the investigation since its start.

Vidalia Police Chief Joey Merrill, many of whose officers participated in the raid, said he agreed with Hedrick, and said the collaboration between federal and local agencies is beneficial to everyone involved.

“I’m real proud of all the agencies working together,” Merrill said. “This made a big dent in the illegal narcotics in our area, and we hope to make more in the future.”

Arrests include:

4 Sanchez Gray, 249 Eugene Road, Ferriday, on charges of possession of a schedule I drug, possession of a schedule II drug, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a weapon and a controlled drug substance concurrently. No bond set.

Freddie Gray, 249 Eugene Road, Ferriday, on charges of possession of a schedule I drug, possession of a schedule II drug, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a weapon and a controlled drug substance concurrently. No bond set.

Stephanie Gray, 249 Eugene Road, Ferriday, on charges of possession of a schedule I drug, possession of a schedule II drug, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a weapon and a controlled drug substance concurrently. No bond set.

Alexis A. Mitchell, 21, 193 Louisiana 900, Clayton, on charges of possession of a schedule I drug, possession of a schedule II drug, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a weapon and a controlled drug substance concurrently. No bond set.

Jarvis Jarman Davis, 26, 609 10th St., Ferriday, on charges of possession of a schedule I drug, improper supervision, a probation and parole hold and two charges of possession of a legend drug. No bond set.

Arailius Moffett, 27, 707 Demby St., Ferriday, on two charges of possession of a schedule II drug with intent to sell. No bond set.

Shameeka Neal, 35, 186 Louisiana 900, on charges of possession of a schedule I drug, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a weapon and a controlled drug substance concurrently. No bond set.

Troy L. Green, 34, 600 Esther St., Vidalia, on charges of possession of schedule I drug and possession of schedule II drugs with intent to sell. No bond set.

Sebastian Tyler Jr., Gremillion St., on charges of possession of schedule I drugs with intent to sell, possession of schedule II drugs with intent to sell and possession of weapons and controlled drug substance concurrently.

Derrick Lewis, 709 Texas St., on charges of possession of a schedule I controlled substance, possession of a schedule I controlled substance with intent to sell, possession of schedule II drugs with intent to sell, possession of schedule IV drugs, carrying of weapons and possession of a controlled drug substance concurrently, convicted felon in possession of a firearm and probation and parole hold violation. No bond set.

Brooks Green, 38, 600 Esther St., on charges of possession of a controlled drug substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond set at $750.

 Kenderic K. Sheppard, 20, 250 Eugene Road, on charges of obstructing public passage, possession of schedule I drugs with intent to sell and possession of schedule II drugs with intent to sell. No bond set.