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Several members of local family arrested for drugs

The Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant Tuesday in the Vernon community at the residence of Essie Williams, 25362 Charlie Conerly Road. Officers discovered drugs, cash and weapons. Five arrests were made, including a grandmother, two of her sons and one of her grandsons.

A large quantity of marijuana was discovered along with crack cocaine and powder cocaine. $6,338 cash was in plastic bags inside the house and in the trunk of a junk vehicle in the yard. $3,900 of the cash was in $1 bills. Several cases of beer and numerous cartons of cigarettes were in the residence. One shotgun, one rifle and a .357 magnum revolver were also seized.

Essie Williams, 72, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. As of Saturday, she remained in the Washington Parish Jail with bond set at $50,000.

Catlin Williams, 29, son of Essie Williams, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He was placed in the Washington Parish Jail with bond set at $50,000. Williams was released on Thursday after having met the conditions of his bond.

Teddie Oneal Williams, 34, son of Essie Williams, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. As of Saturday, he remained in the Washington Parish Jail with bond set at $150,000.

Lewis N. Gray, 19, a resident of Vernon School Road, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He remains in the Washington Parish Jail with bond set at $50,000.

Curtis Quavis Martin, 17, a resident of Thomas Cryer Road and grandson of Essie Williams, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Martin was previously arrested on Sept. 24 for possession of marijuana on the grounds of the Mt. Hermon School. He was out on bond on that charge when he was arrested on the new charges.

On the subsequent charges, Martin’s bond was set at $50,000.

“We heard about this illegal drug operation several weeks ago but could not move in to make arrests until we had enough evidence to secure a search warrant,” Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said. “While the law empowers us to make arrests, the law also constrains us to make only lawful arrests. In this case, we had to gather enough evidence to obtain a search warrant to enter the house and make the arrests since we had not personally witnessed the drug transactions. Patience always pays off, as it did in this matter. I congratulate our Drug Task Force for the long hours they put in to make these arrests. It doesn’t matter if you are 17 or 72. If you possess or sell illegal drugs in Washington Parish, you will go to jail.”