Eight are booked in recent crime spree
Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 15, 2008
By ROBIN SHANNON
LAPLACE – In a major crackdown on some of the more dangerous criminals in St. John Parish, Sheriff Wayne Jones said he has enlisted a task force to help get some of these offenders off the street.
The team, which Jones dubbed “Operation Havoc,” has had a hand in eight arrests of violent criminals who have been wanted on charges ranging from simple robbery to attempted first-degree murder. Jones said the task force, which was created April 28, is made up of members of the Felony Intercept Unit, and Criminal Investigations Division.
“I think it has made a serious dent in crime occurring in the parish,” said Jones. “The task force is working the streets around the clock to get these guys in jail.”
In addition to the eight that have been arrested over the past three weeks, Jones said he has a list of about 20 more individuals that the Sheriff’s Office has been working to incarcerate and bring to justice. He said he plans to forward the list, which includes info on criminal records, to the district attorney and parish judges so that these men become a priority in the court system.
Jones recently voiced his frustration with the district attorney’s office and parish judges over the way they have handled cases involving repeat offenders. He said in a news conference last week that all three parts of the criminal justice system need to get together to put these individuals behind bars.
“I just want to get them off the street as soon as possible,” said Jones. “They have created far too much havoc in the parish.”
As part of “Operation Havoc,” St. John deputies arrested and booked Anthony Cook, 22, of Laplace with simple robbery; Leo Winfield, 17, of LaPlace with armed robbery; Brandon Stewart, 20, of LaPlace with armed robbery and simple robbery; Clarensio Bolden, 17, of Garyville for attempted first-degree murder; Timothy Butler, 18, of Garyville for attempted first-degree murder; Alvin Riley, 18, of LaPlace for attempted first-degree murder; Lorenzo Eugene, 23, of LaPlace for two counts of attempted first-degree murder; and, most recently, Kerston Morgan, 19, of Reserve, for aggravated burglary, attempted armed robbery, and principal to attempted first-degree murder.
The men are being held in the Sherman Walker correctional facility in LaPlace, and Jones said he will be paying close attention to see if any of the individuals arrested end up back on the street.
Jones said the task force is still trying to locate 21-year-old Arthur Brown of LaPlace, who is wanted on two counts of attempted first-degree murder in connection with an incident in LaPlace on May 1. Jones said his office believes that Brown is no longer living in the state.