Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre reported the seizure of $17,580 of illegal drugs in Lockport as part of an operation of the Lafourche Parish Drug Task Force (LPDTF) which led to the arrest of a local drug dealer in January. Keith Guerra, Jr. (W/M, D.O.B. 07/26/85) of 509 A Justin Street in Lockport was arrested on January 27, 2012, by LPDTF Agents from the Lafourche Parish Sheriffs Office and the Thibodaux Police Department, with additional assistance from the Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Office. Guerra was booked on additional charges Friday, March 23 as a result of the drug seizure.
Initially, undercover agents had purchased incense (synthetic marijuana) from Guerra through his website. After receiving the shipment, agents tested the incense and found it to contain Naphthoylindoles (banned under LA R.S. 40:964). On January 27, undercover agents set up a meeting with Guerra wherein they purchased two bags of incense for $200.00. Based on that purchase and warrants from the previous buys, Guerra was arrested that day and booked on three counts of Felony Distribution of a Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) and one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule I CDS. During questioning, Guerra voluntarily agreed to allow agents to search his home. There, agents found assorted packaging equipment and paraphernalia as well as manufacturing materials and chemical extract.
Meanwhile, agents had also been working with the local Postmaster who had notified the Postal Inspector of the investigation. The Inspector had held several packages addressed to Guerra shipped from Mississippi, India and Pakistan. After obtaining a warrant, the Inspector found a total of 3,496 pills (Alprazolam, Diazepam and Clonazepam) and 21.3 grams of powder Naphthoylindoles a collective street value of $17,580.00. After the seized drugs were tested at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab, agents obtained additional warrants for three counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule IV CDS and one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule I CDS. Guerra, still in jail from his January arrest, was booked on the additional charges Friday, March 23. His bond now stands at $160,000.00.
Through this operation, we have cut off a significant supplier to our area, said Sheriff Webre. I thank the Thibodaux Police Department and Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Office for their roles in this operation. We hope this is a sign to drug dealers that we e will remain unrelenting in our fight to get illegal drugs off our streets.
Lieutenant John Champagne of the Lafourche Parish Sheriffs Office Narcotics Section said these substances, also known as synthetic marijuana, are becoming a disturbing trend. The use of these substances has been on the rise in recent years, said Champagne. These substances fall under the guise of incense and tend to give users the impression that they are less lethal than other drugs, when they can actually be just as harmful, if not more so.