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Sheriff: 7 arrested for drug offenses

The Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force arrested seven people on Tuesday and Wednesday for various drug offenses, according to WPSO Chief Deputy Mike Haley.

On Tuesday, Walter E. Smith, 76, a resident of Louisiana Highway 62, was booked on a charge of distribution of illegal drugs. Smith was arrested previously in 2018 for obstruction of justice, Haley said.

Martin R. Winder Jr., 40, a resident of G. T. Stewart Road, also was arrested on Tuesday and charged with conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs. He has one previous arrest in 2019 when he was charged with terrorizing and violation of a protective order.

Also arrested on Tuesday was Charlotte Jarrell Branch, 57, a resident of Avenue F in Bogalusa. She was booked on three counts of distribution of illegal drugs. She has previous arrests in 2016 and 2019 for four counts of possession of illegal drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and traffic offenses.

The fourth arrest Tuesday was Chasity Branch, 24, a resident of Henry Miley Road. She was booked on three counts of distribution of illegal drugs.

Haley said that Blair Elizabeth Dibenedetto, 27, a resident of Martin Lake Drive in Baton Rouge, was arrested Wednesday, and charged with three counts of possession of illegal drugs with intent to distribute, two counts of possession of illegal drugs and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

David Oscar Carlson, 32, a resident of Martin Lake Drive in Baton Rouge, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with two counts of possession of illegal drugs with intent to distribute, two counts of possession of illegal drugs and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Tiffany Ann Thomas, 32, a resident of Squirrel Alley near Franklinton, was arrested on Wednesday, charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute illegal drugs, three counts of possession of illegal drugs, and being a fugitive from another jurisdiction.

Haley said that Thomas has a lengthy arrest record from 2006 through 2018 for numerous offenses, including three counts of distribution of illegal drugs, two counts of possession of illegal drugs, two counts of driving while intoxicated, five counts of failure to appear in court, two counts of contempt of court, theft, simple escape, introduction of contraband into a correctional facility, various financial crimes and various traffic offenses.

“These are the tip of the iceberg,” Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said. “Our drug task force, along with our patrol deputies and investigators, are throughout our parish daily seeking those who flagrantly violate our laws with no regard for the honest citizens of our parish. We are obligated to enforce the laws of our state and that is exactly what we will do.”