Traffic stop results in drug arrest

Published 9:56 am Thursday, March 23, 2023

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On March 22, detectives with the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force were patrolling in Bogalusa when they observed a driver committing a traffic offense.  The vehicle was stopped and the female driver was issued a citation for the traffic offense and released.  Her passenger went to jail.


The passenger, Joseph Rafael Martin, 34, a resident of Ott Street, was found to be in possession of a quantity of illegal narcotics, including THC packets and marijuana.  Some of the illegal drugs were packaged for sale.  In addition, officers discovered several pills and a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol, all of which were claimed by Martin.


Martin, a convicted felon, was arrested and transported to the Washington Parish Jail where he was booked on charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, possession with intent to sell illegal drugs, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with a weapon present and possession of legend drugs without a prescription.


Records indicate Martin was convicted of drug offenses in 2009 and sentenced to three years of hard labor and three years of probation.  His probation ended in 2014.


“I congratulate our drug task force detectives for making this arrest,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal.  “I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t mention the wonderful partnership the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office has with the Bogalusa Police Department.  On many occasions, including the recent drug arrest of Vincent Rashad Peters on West 7th Street, Bogalusa Police Department officers were on the scene.  Bogalusa officers are a valuable resource to us as we join together in conducting investigations and making arrests.  Bogalusa officers back us up on fighting crime within the City of Bogalusa and we back them up.  I cannot say enough about the fine law enforcement work done by officers from both agencies.”


Sheriff Seal continued, saying, “Speaking of the City of Bogalusa, I cannot say enough wonderful things about the superb alliance we have with the Bogalusa Police Department.  They are a fine group of men and women and it is an honor to work alongside them.  Together, we are laboring daily to combat crime and put criminals in jail where they belong.  We provide an office in Bogalusa for the convenience of citizens on the east side of our parish.  The office is located only a few blocks from Bogalusa Police Department Headquarters and officers from both agencies are constantly back and forth discussing criminal cases and working together in the interest of protecting the citizens of Bogalusa.”