St. John sheriff finds hit-and-run investigation leads to drug bust

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 30, 2004

By VICKIE JAMBON Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – Narcotics were allegedly found in the possession of a LaPlace man who was recently questioned about his involvement in a hit and run, according to Sgt. Conrad Baker with the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Baker said Deputy Sylvest Oubre and Deputy Cory Borcherding were dispatched in two separate patrol units to search for a blue Buick believed to be involved in a hit and run on Holly Drive.

Oubre was patrolling West Fifth Street, when the Buick drove straight towards his vehicle and almost hit the patrol unit head-on, said Baker.

Stopping the blue car at 369 Elm Street, Baker said Oubre searched the car’s passenger, 28-year old Paul Crotwell Jr. of 716 Central Avenue, Jefferson.

According to a sheriff’s report, Oubre allegedly found a prescription bottle for 500 milligrams of Vicodin. It allegedly contained 15 tablets of Zanbar and one Lortab tablet.

The driver of the blue Buick was Ginger M. Howze, 22, of 116 Shrewsbury Court, Jefferson.

Baker said the officers allegedly smelled alcohol on Howze and accused her of having slurred speech.Howze allegedly backed up her car into a tree. She then straightened her vehicle out and kept on driving.

Pieces of tree bark were found stuck in the Buick’s rear bumper.

Baker said Howze has an extensive rap sheet and is allegedly on probation until 2007 for heroin possession. The woman is accused of being a fugitive from Jefferson Parish.

Crotwell was arrested and charged with possession of schedule III and schedule IV controlled drug substances.Howze was arrested and charged with a third offense DWI, hit and run driving, reckless operation of a vehicle, no drivers license on person and fugitive from another agency.

According to Baker, Howze was released on her own recognizance by Judge Madeline Jasmine.

She is being held for Jefferson Parish authorities, said Baker.