St. Rose man at center of 2015 drug bust sentenced

A St. Rose man from whose residence police reportedly seized 78 pounds of marijuana, 19 firearms and more than $36,000 in 2015 has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Lance Cowans, 38, pleaded guilty to two narcotics violations before Judge M. Lauren Lemmon Thursday (April 27) in a plea deal. He pleaded guilty to possessing more than 60 but less than 2,000 pounds of marijuana, for which he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Seven years of the sentence was suspended.

Upon release, Cowans will serve five years active probation.

Cowans also pleaded guilty to possession of Schedule II narcotics, for which he received a five-year sentence.

The sentences on both felony charges will be served concurrently.

Additionally, Cowans was required to forfeit over $36,000  in cash, weapons and cellphones pursuant to Louisiana forfeiture  law.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Julie Cullen.

“I applaud the narcotics detectives of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office for their efforts in investigating and arresting this defendant,” said District Attorney Joel T. Chaisson II. “My office will continue to vigorously prosecute those individuals whose object is to profit by flooding our community with illegal narcotics.”

Police seized the drugs and weapons from Cowans’ residence on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1 of 2015. He was arrested with a Houston-based accomplice, Juan Alberto Salinas, who was 20 at the time of the arrest.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the DEA tipped deputies that Salinas would be transporting drugs to Cowans at his home. Sheriff’s deputies stopped Salinas on Airline Highway for allegedly running a stop sign as he left the residence and found marijuana in his vehicle.

After the arrest, a warrant was issued for Cowans’ residence at 836 Fox Lane in St. Rose, where police found marijuana, 17 long rifles, two handguns, digital scales, small amounts of cocaine and miscellaneous controlled substances.

The marijuana was formed into specially shaped blocks that the Sheriff’s Office said were stored inside of a spare tire that was found cut open in Cowans’ home.

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