Four arrested in Cambridge with crack cooking station

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 24, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – Authorities with the St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Office discovered a narcotic cooking station inside the bedroom of a Cambridge Subdivision home, which recently led to the arrest of four men.

Sheriff’s spokesman, Maj. Michael Tregre said authorities received a tip from a caller Saturday at 7:49 p.m., reporting drug trafficking in the front yard of a house located at 825 St. Andrews Blvd.

When officers arrived to investigate the complaint, they saw two men standing in front of the house,” said Tregre.

He said the owner of the home, Merle Alphonse, 52, walked up from the side of the house and asked the officers what was going on.

“The officers could see there was no meter on the home,” said Tregre. “Alphonse admitted the house did not have power and that the house also did not have running water.”

Alphonse told authorities that Rebecca Thiery, 32, of 2616 Cambridge Drive, was inside his home with two men that he did not know.

Thiery answered the door when the officers knocked and told the deputies she did not know the two men who were inside the house with her.

“We knew her (Thiery). We have had a variety of past dealings with her,” said Tregre.

After encountering Thiery at the front door, officers asked Alphonse for permission to enter the house. Alphonse granted permission.

When authorities entered the home, there were no lights on, said Tregre.

He said two men were sitting on the couch in the dark. They told the officers they were waiting for their cars to be fixed. The two men were Charles Rayfield, 41, of 516 Heritage Cove, and Jules Hutchinson, 36, of 204 Homewood Place, in Reserve.

While arresting the two men, on outstanding warrants, officers, using flashlights, saw marijuana on the floor in plain view.

Alphonse denied knowing anything about the drugs and he gave the officers permission to search his house.

“We searched the couch where Rayfield was sitting and recovered powdered cocaine,” said Tregre. “Where Hutchinson was sitting, we recovered two crack pipes.”

Tregre said the officers proceeded to search the remainder of the house.

“Searching the master bedroom, officers discovered a cooking station used to cooked down cocaine. A syringe filled with an unknown narcotic, thought to be heroin, was found on the dresser. Also sitting on the dresser, was a plate with crack cocaine,” said Tregre.

According to Tregre, the St. John the Baptist Parish Narcotics Division was called.

While waiting for narcotics agents to arrive, the responding officers searched the property. They saw two cars in the backyard. The vehicles had been disassembled.

“One of the cars was a 1997 Oldsmobile, stolen from Jefferson Parish,” said Tregre. “The other car is pending verification. However, we believe it is also stolen.”

Narcotics agents arrived with test kits and proceeded to sample the narcotics.

“Field tests revealed substances recovered were powdered cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana,” said Tregre.

He said the syringe, appearing to contain heroin, was sent to a crime lab for further analysis.

Alphonse and Thiery were arrested.

All four individuals have been charged with possession of Schedule II controlled drug substances.

Alphonse, Thiery and Rayfield are additionally charged with possession of 28 to 199 grams of marijuana.

Hutchinson was additionally charged with distributing and manufacturing a Schedule I controlled drug substance and an additional charge of possessing stolen property, valued over $500, was lodged against Alphonse.

All four individuals were booked into the Sherman Walker Correctional Center.