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Anonymous tip leads to drug arrests

By LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / October 12, 1998

LAPLACE – Two drug arrests were made Oct. 5 after the St. John Sheriff’sOffice received an anonymous tip. That tip resulted in getting $3,500 ofcrack cocaine off the streets.

Reginald Dropthmore, 18, 1831 Lee Drive, and David Fisher, 25, 2449 Williamsburg Drive, both of LaPlace, were each charged with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession of more than 28 but less than 200 grams of cocaine.

A total of 52.91 grams of cocaine were recovered during the arrest, Lt.Michael Tregre commented. He added that if convicted each suspect couldface 10 to 60 years in prison.

Each had prior arrest records, Tregre continued. Dropthmore was spottedby a housing project foot patrol smoking marijuana with two juveniles in June 1997 and, in August 1998, he was caught in an unauthorized vehicle and fled from police.

Fisher’s prior arrests included possession of two bags of marijuana and two revolvers by a convicted felon in April 1996, threatening a deputy in the LaPlace housing project, where he was already on the banned list, and finally, a DWI arrest in January 1998.

Bonds were set by 40th Judicial District Judge J. Sterling Snowdy at$80,000 for Dropthmore and $20,000 for Fisher.

In another matter, Christopher D. McDuffie, 22, of LaPlace, and Brad M.Blank, 22, of Reserve, were each sentenced Oct. 6 to 30 years to theDepartment of Corrections.

McDuffie will be eligible for parole in 20 years, and he was also levied a $150,000 fine. Blank was multiple-billed on a prior felony conviction andhe is not eligible for parole. His fine was $175,000.McDuffie and Blank were each convicted May 28 for smuggling crystal methamphetamine into the River Parishes. The three-month investigationinvolved the St. John Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police, the TexasDepartment of Public Safety and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.When arrested in January, the pair had just taken possession of a half- pound of so-called “crystal meth,” valued at $25,000. They were describedby Lt. Octavio Gonzalez, commander of the Bureau of Narcotics for thesheriff’s office, as “probably responsible for most of the meth distribution in St. John Parish.”Gonzalez added they were “upper-level distributors” responsible for 70 percent of the illegal drug in the parish.

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