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6 arrested in kidnapping of Norco teen

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / September 29, 1998

MANDEVILLE – A Norco teen-ager, apparently setting up a marijuana deal in Metairie, unexpectedly found himself kidnapped and held captive in a Northshore apartment.

Six people have been arrested in the incident.

According to St. Tammany Sheriff’s spokesman James Hartman, TravisWebre, 17, of Alleman Street, Norco, received a call from a man wanting to buy a quantity of marijuana who had heard Webre could set up the deal.

Webre and a friend met two men at the E-Z Serve convenience store at Causeway Boulevard and West Esplanade Avenue Monday at 8 p.m.The pair gave Webre’s friend $1,000 to buy a pound and a half of marijuana and the friend departed, supposedly to return in a few minutes with the drugs.

Instead, by 9:30 p.m., after it appeared the friend had “burned” them, thetwo men forced Weber into a car at gunpoint, blindfolded him and drove him across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. They ended up at anapartment where Webre was held for 20 hours, overnight and into the following day, handcuffed to a couch.

While there, Webre was reportedly beaten, causing a split lip and a broken nose. He was also threatened with death over his friend’s action, and toldif the friend didn’t turn up by 10 p.m., they would kill him.Two people, apparently aware of Webre’s captivity but not involved in the drug buy gone bad, tipped off the Mandeville Police Department. Since theapartment was outside the city limits, though, the St. Tammany Sheriff’sOffice was contacted.

St. Tammany deputies, at 4 p.m. Tuesday, arrived at Apartment 807 ofWoodlands Apartments, where they were admitted upon knocking on the door. Inside, they found three men and a visibly-frightened Webre andmade the following immediate arrests: Robert “Bobby” Robertson, 19, the apartment’s tenant.

Anthony Goins, 18, 472 Laura Drive North, Mandeville.

Blake Jones, 17, 24418 Azalea St., Lacombe.Robertson was found seated in a chair, holding a pair of handcuffs and with a 12-gauge shotgun within reach.

Each were charged with aggravated kidnapping, possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm involved in drug trafficking. A .25-caliberhandgun, a 12-gauge shotgun, a quantity of marijuana and drug paraphernalia were recovered at the scene.

Hartman said of Webre, “He was certainly glad to see us,” but added, to his knowledge, the drug courier was not identified to police.

Later that same day, deputies also arrested Ryan Knight, 18, 1435 Owl Court; and Ryan Essaid, 19, 218 Laura Drive, both of Mandeville. Eachreceived the same charges as the other men.

All the men were held at the parish jail in Covington with bond set at $75,000, Hartman noted.

Finally, that evening, deputies arrested Tiffany Reiff, 21, 311 Woodlands Apartments, Mandeville, and charged her with accessory after the fact of aggravated kidnapping. She allegedly stopped at the apartment, becameaware of the circumstances, but failed to report it to police. She wasreleased on a $10,000 signature bond.

Further charges may be added by Jefferson Parish authorities, as the alleged abduction took place in Metairie.

Hartman added the incident remains under investigation.

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