23 arrested in major drug operation

Published 7:28 pm Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A three-year investigation by federal, state and local authorities resulted in 23 narcotic arrests in Bogalusa early Monday morning. The investigation focused on drug dealers.

Along with the arrests and seizure of contraband, law enforcement officers were also able to gather information on drug trafficking that led to three search warrants and several arrest warrants for cocaine distribution throughout southeast Louisiana, according to Master Trooper Greg Marchand, spokesman for Louisiana State Police Troop L.

On Monday morning, officers from the Louisiana State Police, the DEA, Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bogalusa Police Department, U.S. Customs Border Protection Marine and Air Branch, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Louisiana National Guard Counterdrug Aviation Unit executed search warrants at 1301 Victoria St., 725 Mississippi Ave. and 132 Liberty St. in Bogalusa.

Marchand said detectives recovered various amounts of illegal drugs, weapons and drug paraphernalia.

In addition to the search warrants, several state and federal arrest warrants were issued for individuals having extensive criminal histories, he said.

The operation yielded 10 federal narcotic arrests and 13 state felony narcotic arrests.

Five handguns were seized. Marchand said the operation involved marijuana, crack cocaine and powdered cocaine.

The following people were arrested on federal arrest warrants for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail:

• Raymond Bridges, 53

• Mary Doughty, 66

• Darin Fields, 32

• Gerard Jackson, 44

• Donelle Pigott, 50

• Donnie Pittman, 52

• Alex Scott, 32

• Torrance Scott, 35

• Walter Vaughn, 49

• Derrick May, 34

The following people were arrested on state arrest warrants for conspiracy to distribute cocaine:

• Jack Brister, 68

• Richard Brown, 53

• Dominque James, 23

• Kenneth Foster, 55

• Michael Slocum, 24

• Michael Scott, 47

• Larry Cotton, 47

• Charles Smoot, 31

The following people were arrested on state arrest warrants for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute marijuana:

• Arthur Phelps, 50

• Jahi Brown, 21

• Anthony Exkano, 59

The following people were arrested on state arrest warrants for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, possession with intent distribute marijuana, violation of a drug free zone, possession of controlled dangerous substances in presence of persons under 17 years of age, possession of CDS with a firearm and possession of firearm by person convicted of certain felonies:

• Brandon Morris, 31

• Angella Forrest, 37

Those arrested on state charges were booked at the Washington Parish Jail.

Marchand said the operation is ongoing, and additional arrests are possible.

“The wreckage caused by drugs affects every American, not just in large cities, but also in small towns and rural areas like Bogalusa and Washington Parish,” said Keith Brown, special agent in charge, DEA, New Orleans division. “No matter the amounts of drugs they sell, drug dealers breed crime in our neighborhoods and are a danger to our children.”

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal and Bogalusa Police Chief Joe Culpepper’s cooperation with state and federal agencies are a testament to their commitment to the citizens of Washington Parish, he said.

Both men said the resources available from the DEA and State Police, combined with knowledge and trust from the community, is why this operation was such a success.

Marchand said partnerships with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are extremely important to Louisiana State Police and play a key part in LSP’s commitment to proactive crime reduction.

“This is yet another great example of what law enforcement can accomplish when we unite for a common purpose,” added Col. Mike Edmonson, State Police superintendent.