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Motorist arrested for drug possession

Jail records indicate Joseph W. Kennedy, 36, a resident of Louisiana Highway 438, has been jailed in Washington Parish at least 10 times since 2007, with a Wednesday arrest being the latest.

Responding to a report of a single vehicle wreck north of Franklinton, Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies discovered an unresponsive Kennedy behind the wheel, according to WPSO Chief Deputy Mike Haley. The car he was driving, which was registered to a woman in Sandy Hook, Miss., had reportedly left the road and was resting against a telephone utility box.

Joseph Kennedy

“Responding deputies noticed various forms of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia in the car as they forced open a window and gained access to the vehicle. Kennedy, who was sweating profusely, woke up at that time and immediately began claiming he was only parked on the side of the road to take a nap and that he had not done any drugs,” Haley said. “Evidence at the scene, including the testimony of an off-duty officer who witnessed the accident, indicated otherwise.

“After being medically cleared by responding medical personnel, Kennedy was arrested and transported to the Washington Parish Jail.”

He was booked into the jail on seven counts of possession of illegal drugs, including methamphetamine, Xanax, marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine and morphine, in addition to drug paraphernalia. He was charged also with careless operation of a motor vehicle.

Haley said that Kennedy’s arrests since 2007 have been for a variety of charges, including driving while intoxicated, disturbing the peace, distribution of illegal drugs, possession of illegal drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, introduction of contraband into a correctional facility and failure to appear in court. In addition, he faced several traffic violations and being a fugitive from the Louisiana Division of Probation and Parole. His latest three previous arrests in 2017, 2018 and 2019 were for possession of illegal drugs, including heroin.

“How fortunate that he did not crash into another vehicle,” Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said. “His reckless behavior could easily have impacted innocent motorists in the area. Obviously, his lifestyle is one that promises only a dismal future.”