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Dutch Bayou ‘officers’ face racketeering, laundering charges

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / August 5, 1998

RESERVE – A “criminal corporation” was brought to heel Monday night as St. John the Baptist Parish narcotics detectives rounded up four”corporate officers” of the Dutch Bayou drug organization, Officials allege the group is responsible for 90 percent of marijuana distribution in St. John Parish.This is the first time racketeering charges have been brought in St. JohnParish, Lt. Troy Hidalgo of the St. John Sheriff’s Office said, and it’s thefirst time in Louisiana indictments were presented under a new money- laundering statute.

If convicted, the maximum penalty for racketeering is a $1 million fine and/or 50 years in prison. For money-laundering, the penalty is a maximumfine of $50,000 and a range of 5 to 99 years in prison.

The charges stem from a two-year investigation which climaxed in the July 9 predawn raid on 119 and 125 Northwest 13th Street near Railroad Avenue Seven arrests were made, including that of a 16-year-old male, in that earlier raid. This week, four of those people were picked up on stateracketeering and money-laundering charges. Two adults were being soughtas of press time.

The following people were formally indicted July 31 on charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and conspiracy to commit money-laundering: Clyde Richards, 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 Richards, 48, 125 Northwest 12th St., possession withintent to distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Bond was set at $45,000. 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. Thaddeus Jackson, no other information available. He was not arrested inthe July 9 raid.

Clyde Richards and Thaddeus Jackson were still being sought at press time.

An additional 18 persons allegedly involved in street-level dealing of marijuana were also indicted but have yet to be apprehended, Hidalgo said.

The warrants were issued by Judge Mary Hotard Becnel, who presided over the grand jury.

“It’s a new avenue of investigation methods to go after the whole organization,” Hidalgo continued.

Also arrested in July but not indicted on the racketeering charges were: Karla Jackson, 31, 125 Northwest 12th St., possession with intent todistribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

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.

Hidalgo said Clyde Richards and Kendell Jackson acted as the “president” and “chief executive officer” of the criminal organization, with the women acting as the “purchasing department.”Hidalgo added that the investigation, conducted in cooperation with U.S.postal inspectors, documented 14 overt acts of racketeering between Jan.

29, 1997 and July 9, 1998.

The money-laundering stemmed from seven overt acts, involving some $70,000, Hidalgo added.

To give an idea of the scope of the drug marketing operation, Hidalgo said, 159 packets of marijuana, all neatly packaged in two-ounce plastic bags, were found ready for street sales at $10 each.

With an initial investment of $57,900 for 100 pounds of marijuana, total gross street sales generated $224,000, with a net profit of $166,500 – a profit margin of 74.30 percent.Much of the sales took place in the public and private schools in St. JohnParish. Upon questioning, most of the suspects picked up in the past twoyears claimed their source for the illegal substance was “Dutch Bayou,” the area of Reserve where the Richards/Jackson organization was headquartered.

A special prosecutor from the Louisiana District Attorneys Association, who worked with securing the indictments, will prosecute the case. Thatspecial prosecutor has a specialty background in such prosecutions.

The July 9 raid turned up six pounds of marijuana, two ounces of crack cocaine with a street value of $3,000, six pounds of marijuana with a street value of $7,200, several handguns and an AK-47 assault rifle.

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