In two separate incidents, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office -- in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency and other area parish police departments -- arrested four individuals attempting to traffic Ecstasy through the parish.
Ecstacy is a mind-altering, hallucinogenic drug that can cause serious brain damage, including long-term depression, in users.
The first bust occurred on Good Friday when the DEA received information that Kevin Cavalier, 19, Bayou Gauche, and Michael Wrens, 36, Houma, were planning a drug transaction involving 1,000 tablets of MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy.
Selling for approximately $25 per tablet, a purchase of this quantity has a potential street value of $25,000.
According to police reports, parish police and the DEA moved in after witnessing the drug buy. In addition to the Ecstasy, Wrens and Cavalier had a 9mm semi-automatic handgun, 7 grams cocaine and over $8,000 in their possession.
Wrens and Cavalier were charged with conspiracy with the attempt to distribute Ecstacy, possession with attempt to distribute cocaine and possession of firearm during the sale of a controlled dangerous substance.
"The investigation is still ongoing," said Sheriff Champagne, adding that there have been other arrests in adjacent parishes.
Kenner Police and the LaFourche Parish Sheriff's Office were also involved with the investigation.
Five days later, St. Charles Parish Police, again with DEA, arrested Jeffery Lecourt, 26, LaPlace, and Toria Smith, 20, Metairie, for attempting to purchase 1,000 tablets of Ecstacy.
According to reports, agents nabbed the duo after witnessing the purchase. During a search, Smith was found to have a small amount of methamphetamine, and it was discovered that she was wanted on a warrant from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.
Both were charged with conspiracy with attempt to distribute, and Smith was also charged with possession of methamphetamine.
Although each pair in both busts attempted to purchase the identical amounts of Ecstasy, Sheriff Champagne said that they were unrelated.
"The first case (Wrens and Cavalier), we got directly through DEA, and we worked with LaFourche and Kenner Police Departments. The second case, a detective from my office and one from LaFourche got information from St. John Parish; it was a different groups of drug dealers," said Champagne.
As of Tuesday, the bond for Toria Smith was $80,000 set by Judge St. Pierre, and she is still in jail. The bond for Jeffery Lecourt was $80,000, and he was released on April 21 after posting $1,630 set by Judge Chaisson.
The bond on Wren and Cavalier were both set at $100,000 by Judge St. Pierre. Both were released. Wren posted a $10,030 cash bond and Cavalier posted a property bond.
|(Clockwise) Kevin Cavalier, 19, Bayou Gauche, and Michael Wrens, 36, Houma, Jeffery Lecourt, 26, LaPlace, and Toria Smith, 20, Metairie were arrest for attempting to purchase a 1000 units of Ecstasy.|