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Officers recover weapons, drugs in early morning raid

Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / July 13, 1998

RESERVE – Cars eased into position as dawn crept onto Northwest 13th Street near Railroad Avenue. Suddenly, just before 6 a.m. Thursday, itseemed a dozen vehicles arrived at once.

Armed men swarmed from the vehicles and swept into 119 and 125 Northwest 13th St., awakening the surprised occupants with drawn gunsand flashlights.

Seven arrests were made, including that of a 16-year-old male.

As the occupants, including at least four small children, were cleared from the residences, the searching began by narcotics detectives. Quickly,guns and drugs were found in plain view. One residence had a shoeboxcrammed full of marijuana. Another residence had a black plastic yardtrash bag loaded with an armful of marijuana and a quantity of crack cocaine.

“Jackpot!” the detectives celebrated upon discovery of the trash bag half- filled of the marijuana.

A small amount of cash and several handguns were also quickly located, as well as an AK-47 assault rifle.

It totaled six pounds of marijuana, with a street value of $7,200, and two ounces of crack cocaine, with a street value of $3,000, Chief Harold Klibert said.

One female occupant collapsed and was taken away by Acadian Ambulance, suffering from apparent shock. The small children were removed andplaced with other relatives.

It was all part of Operation Dutch Bayou, organized by case officer Sgt.

Troy Hidalgo, aimed at shutting down what Hidalgo labeled as “the worst of the worst” spots for drug trafficking in St. John the Baptist Parish.Arrested were: * Clyde Richard, 27, 125 Northwest 12th St., possession with intent todistribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Bond was set at $75,000.

* Kendell Jackson, 24, 125 Northwest 12th St., possession with intent todistribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Bond was set at $75,000.

* Joyce Jackson Richard, 48, 125 Northwest 12th St., possession withintent to distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Bond was set at $45,000.* A 16-year-old male juvenile, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He is beinghoused at the Conchetta Youth Facility in Orleans Parish.

* Patricia Jackson, 48, 125 Northwest 12th St., possession with intent todistribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Bond set at $45,000.

* Denise Lipps, 24, 119 Northwest 12th St., possession of marijuana andpossession with intent to distribute cocaine. Bond set at $45,000.* Karla Jackson, 31, 125 Northwest 12th St., possession with intent todistribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Bond set at $45,000.

Lt. Octavio Gonzalez, commander of the Narcotics Division, reported thecase was opened in July 1996. The investigation was stepped up in April1997, with undercover operators making drug purchases and documenting cases against the occupants of the residences. All this was in response toneighborhood complaints of the wide-open drug trafficking.

At one point several weeks ago, a number of arrests were made of people who had just made purchases at the scene, as they were pulled over blocks away by officers aware of the purchases.

“We were making one after another,” Gonzalez said. “We ran out ofmanpower or we would’ve made more.”Officers were armed with search warrants Thursday morning. Drug dogsreviewed each residence, then the squads combed each residence, searching everywhere from closets and mattresses to the insides of stuffed animals.

Behind one residence, in a fenced yard, were a dozen pit bulldogs, one of which charged invading officers during the morning raid. The dog wasrestrained without injury to the dog or to officers. Arrangements arebeing made through the St. John Animal Shelter for disposition of the dogs.The St. John team was also backed up by officers from the St. CharlesParish Sheriff’s Office, all under the command of Gonzalez and Hidalgo.

Photo: A garbage bag filled with pounds of marijuana discovered during the dawn raid in which seven arrests were made.

Photo by Leonard Gray.

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