Multiple law enforcement agencies collaborate to make largest drug bust in Pointe Coupee history

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 9:14 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2022 at 6:06 PM CDT
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NEW ROADS, La. (WAFB) - Twelve suspected drug dealers believed to be part of a large drug ring are locked up after a joint investigation between the Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s Office, New Roads Police Department, and Louisiana State Police.

“You will see that in every parish we’re dealing with the harmful effects of these drugs,” Pointe Coupee Sheriff Rene Thibodeaux said. “And in this drug bust, all five of the top drugs were involved.”

A several-month investigation has led to one of Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s Office’s largest drug...
A several-month investigation has led to one of Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s Office’s largest drug busts, officials announced at a news conference on Friday, Aug. 12.(Louisiana State Police)

Investigators said they confiscated heroin, cocaine, meth, pressed pills, marijuana, and synthetic marijuana worth $600,000.

“I’ll say to you that this is mid-level cities type of drug drugs. When you see a little small city, like New Roads with this, we got a problem,” District Attorney Tony Clayton said.

There were seven overdose deaths last year in Pointe Coupee Parish. So far this year, there have been six.

LSP Col. Lamar Davis says getting these drugs off the streets saves countless lives.

“There’s no number, and when you look at the number of overdoses when you look at the amount of criminal activity involved with this, you know there is no specific number, but I can tell you it’s immeasurable and one life is too much,” Davis said.

Pointe Coupee coroner Donald Doucet said the increasing numbers are impacting the health care system.

“These are situations that put the staff potentially at risk because some of them are very violent. These are not situations that just require a short period of time to stabilize, but sometimes they’re in the hospital for days, so you can see the impact of how this is affecting the health care system,” Doucet said.

According to LSP, the investigation began in December 2021 with allegations that Elie Edwards, 43, of New Roads, was selling heroin and methamphetamine in Pointe Coupee Parish. Through the investigation, officials identified numerous members of a Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) with Edwards as its leader.

Authorities confirmed Edwards was distributing narcotics throughout the Pointe Coupee area, and on Thursday, Aug. 4, they executed multiple search warrants.

LSP and Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office held a joint news conference about a major drug bust in Pointe Coupee Parish following a 7-month investigation.

According to LSP, officials seized approximately 18.6 pounds of heroin; approximately 1.2 pounds of cocaine; approximately 1.2 pounds of methamphetamine; approximately 4.4 approximately of marijuana; approximately 25 grams of pressed pills; and approximately 1.4 pounds of synthetic marijuana.

Officials also reportedly seized one AR-15 rifle, and two semiautomatic handguns, one of which was stolen out of Pointe Coupee.

The following arrests were made during the drug bust:

  • Elie Edwards, 43, of New Roads, is charged with Attempt and Conspiracy-Distribution of Heroin, Methamphetamine, Marijuana/ Synthetic Cannabinoids, Cocaine, Schedule IV, Distribution/ Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, Distribution/ Possession with Intent to Distribute Schedule II CDS - Methamphetamine, Distribution/Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, or Synthetic Cannabinoids, Illegal Possession of Stolen Firearms, Possession of Firearm or Carrying Concealed Weapon by a Person Convicted or Certain Felonies
  • David Hayes, 42, of New Roads, is charged with Attempt and Conspiracy, Distribution/ Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, Prohibited Acts-Schedule II, and Prohibited Acts-Schedule IV
  • Shannon Labatut, 43, of New Roads, is charged with Attempt and Conspiracy-Distribution of Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Marijuana/ Synthetic Cannabinoids, Distribution/ Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, or synthetic cannabinoids, Distribution/ Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin
  • Jerlanda Foster, 31, of New Roads, is charged with Attempt and Conspiracy
  • Loretta Dobard, 53, of New Roads, is charged with Attempt and Conspiracy, Malfeasance in Office
  • Mary Victorian, 36, of New Roads, is charged with Attempt and Conspiracy, Transactions involving proceeds from drug offenses
  • William Tynes, 61, of Ethel, is charged with Distribution/ Possession with Intent to Distribute Narcotic Drugs Listed in Schedule 1, and Prohibited Acts-Schedule IV, Penalties
  • Bryan Francois, 32, of New Roads, is charged with Attempt and Conspiracy- Distribution/ Possession with intent to distribute Schedule II CDS
  • Darrel Harris, 30, of New Roads, is charged with Attempt and Conspiracy- Distribution/ Possession with intent to distribute Schedule 1 and Schedule II
  • Joshua Gustin, 41, of Ventress, is charged with Attempt and Conspiracy- Distribution/Possession with intent to distribute Schedule 1 and Schedule II (CDS) Felony
  • Leighann Kirby, 34, of Jarreau, is charged with Attempt and Conspiracy- Prohibited Acts-Schedule II, and Obstruction of Justice-Evidence Tampering
  • Michael A Edwards, 40, of New Roads, is charged with Attempt and Conspiracy to Distribution of Schedule II CDS

Officials praise the collaboration between departments and the community to get these drugs off the streets.

“Continue reporting this criminal activity. It’s going to take all of us for us to rip these drugs out of our communities,” Davis said.

The investigation remains ongoing. Officials say additional arrests are expected.

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