Cab driver charged with filing false report

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 6, 2002


DESTREHAN – Possible Middle Eastern terrorists were being sought in St. Charles Parish in mid-July, and a cab driver put searchers off the trail, according to Sheriff Greg C. Champagne. Champagne said at the time, law enforcement officials were on alert for four terrorists who were reportedly trying to enter the country and bomb an oil refinery in Pasadena, Texas.

A Tickfaw man was arrested Aug. 1 by the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office for filing a false police report, regarding his connection to the four Pakastani sailors who jumped ship in Destrehan on July 14. The seamen, later located in Waco, Texas, were determined not to be the suspected terrorists.

Jay C. Fish, 47, of 49325 Kinchen Road, Tickfaw, a driver for King Cab Company, originally told investigators he had given four men a ride to a parking lot in LaPlace. Based on this information, the searchers were diverted. It was later learned Fish contacted a second cab company and arranged for the men to be driven to Texas. Instead of dropping them off in LaPlace, he took them to a Destrehan parking lot, where he met another cab driver and was paid a $20 commission for arranging the fare.

Soon after transferring the four seamen to another cab, Fish called the second driver on a cell phone and said he was contacted by the sheriff’s office in search of the men. The second driver dropped the four men off in Lafayette, from where they made their way to Texas. The men were found July 16 at in Waco.

U.S. Border Patrol Asst. Chief Michael Gonzales said the men left their vessel, the “Little Lady P,” without leave. The ship had been docked at the ADM Growmark grain elevator in Destrehan. Identified as Amad Khan, 26; M. Ilyas Khan, 33; Waheed Khan, 25; and Ali Shad, 22, the men were not considered dangerous and have no criminal records in this country, Gonzales said.