48 drug dealers charged in parish sweep

Charlotte Guedry
Over 40 people were arrested during a joint drug sting in Ascension Parish.

Members of the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office and Gonzales Police Department joined with the DEA New Orleans Field Division's Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) and US Marshal's on Monday morning to pick up and arrest over 40 known drug dealrs within the area.

In the early hours of the morning, 11 task force teams left a central command base to begin rounding up the dealers.

Each task force consisted of members of all departments involved in the operation.

At a press conference to announce the results of today's arrests, US Attorney Donald Cazayoux announced that the operation had netted 48 indictments; 25 federal and 23 state.

Ricky Babin, Distrcit Attorney with the 23rd Judicial District will now begin working on the indictments.

DEA Special Agent in Charge, Jimmy Fox, announced that the "Streets in Ascension Parish are now safer today. Citizens will immediately feel the impact of this bust."

He went on to thank both Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley and Gonzales Chief of Police Sherman Jackson for their assistance in the operation.

Over $45,000 was spent on the operation, which aimed to attack drugs on a local level.

"If you do drugs, then your fate is already sealed," said Fox. "Justice will be the victor."

The MET Team is called in to assist departments when manpower makes the fight against drugs a difficult task.

"If you want to fight drugs, then you need to do it this way," said Sheriff Wiley. "My hat is off to the DEA team and their support people."

Chief Jackson went on to discuss the merits of the operation.

"Today is a good day for Ascension Parish and the City of Gonzales," he said. "We have dealt a big blow to the drug dealers in our area."

The estimated wholesale value of the drugs found during the operation was $150,000, and included 1 kilo of powder and 200 grams of crack cocaine. Guns were also found in some of the properties, including one assault rifle.

For a complete list of names of all arrrested, and more on the story, covered firsthand by the Gonzales Weekly Citizen, pick up a copy of this Thursday's paper.

After an arrest, the suspects were brought in for processing.