Alleged drug dealers rounded up

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 2, 2002

LAPLACE – The situation quickly got fouled up for two alleged mid-level drug distributors in the northern part of Cambridge Subdivision Thursday afternoon when they were first busted by the sheriff’s office and, while trying to escape and dump their drugs, were nailed in a traffic accident.

Kendall Coleman, 26, of 308 Linwood Drive, and Edwin “Preacher” Raymond, 27, of 2312 Cambridge Drive, both in LaPlace, were both charged with distribution of marijuana and distribution of cocaine. Coleman was also charged with attempted first-degree murder of a police officer.

Lt. Octavio Gonzalez, commander of the narcotics division for the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office, said the neighborhood Revere Drive, between Cambridge and English Colony Drive, had been suffering for some time with drug trafficking on the street.

“People in the community were getting tired of it,” Gonzalez said, and added the area is pegged as a high-crime neighborhood.

Capt. Michael Tregre said the suspects were spotted at 2:50 p.m. by undercover officers, who radioed for backup from uniformed officers. When the marked units arrived, with flashing lights, the 1988 Chrysler Fifth Avenue the pair were in took off. Sgt. Randall Joseph, in an attempt to halt the fleeing vehicle, got out of his own and tried to wave it down, but was nearly struck as the Chrysler fled the neighborhood and nosed onto Woodland Drive.

Meanwhile, at Woodland Drive and U.S. Highway 51, Brian M. Duhe, 32, of 151 Timbermill Loop in Garyville, was transporting physically handicapped children in a 1999 Ford E-350 van, headed to a group home in LaPlace. During the pursuit, a small bag was tossed from the window, and recovered by Lt. Wayne Schaefer, which later proved to be four grams of crack cocaine.

Duhe had the green light and into the intersection, only to be struck by the fleeing Chrysler. The children and van driver had only minor injuries. The suspects were also examined and released to deputies for booking.

Inside the vehicle, on the front seat, was a small black bag containing more than 30 bags of marijuana of various sizes, totaling 784 grams of marijuana.

Coleman’s bond was set at $325,150, while Raymond’s was set at $25,000 by 40th Judicial District Judge Mary Hotard Becnel.

Gonzalez commented, “They had no regard for human life,” and added since the pair are both convicted felons, “They are both facing some serious time.”