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Two plead guilty to cocaine trafficking

L’Observateur / November 2, 1998

EDGARD – A surveillance videotape helped settle the matter, as Keith Dawson, 32, and Corey Smith, 28, both of Los Angeles, Calif., accepted aplea agreement and were sent to prison on cocaine trafficking charges Wednesday.

40th Judicial District Judge J. Sterling Snowdy gave Smith 16 years andDawson 20 years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections.

“It’s hard to maintaine one’s innocence when you’re trapped on videotape trafficking in narcotics,” Assistant District Attorney Charles Lorio commented dryly.

More than $750,000 in drugs were seized June 24, 1997, at 461 Northwest Second St., Reserve, as a quantity of cocaine was being processed into a”biscuit” of crack cocaine.

Outside the house were two “Drug Free Zone” signs, with the word “Free” painted over.

Deputies also recovered a quantity of firearms at the residence, including a.357-Magnum revolver, a 32.-caliber revolver and a clip for an AK-47,along with $600 in cash.

As the raid was going on, the phone began ringing. An officer whoanswered it heard a woman saying she wanted to buy “two.” That led tomore arrests in a sting operation as officers set up fake drug buys from the house.

The anti-drug operation had been launched in April 1997.

“We were satisfied and pleased with the successful prosecution of these cases,” Lorio continued. He was assisted in the prosecution by RobertBecnel.

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