Traffic stop leads to major drug bust

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 10, 2010



LAPLACE – A high-level drug trafficker known for dealing illegal narcotics throughout the region was one of two men arrested in Mt. Airy Friday by St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s investigators, who found more than four kilograms of cocaine stashed in the back of a pickup truck.

Capt. Dane Clement, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office, said detectives stopped a gold Ford F150 on River Road at about 9:20 p.m. Friday. He said the stop was part of an ongoing narcotics investigation, but he would not elaborate.

A search of the vehicle uncovered 4.5 kilos of cocaine in the tailgate of the truck. Clement said the drugs have a street value of more than $500,000.

The occupants of the vehicle, Anthony Belvin, 28, of 114 Orchard St., Mt. Airy, and Courtney Devare, 29, of 409 Marvin Gardens St., LaPlace, were arrested and charged with possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. Clement said the men, who both have prior arrests in the parish for drug and theft charges, are being held at the Sherman Walker Correctional Facility in LaPlace on $1 million bonds.

Sheriff Wayne L. Jones said Monday that Belvin, who has 28 prior arrests ranging from possession of stolen property to weapons and narcotics related charges, is described as a mid to upper level dealer who is believed to be a major source in the transportation of cocaine from Baton Rouge to New Orleans.

“He has been on our radar for quite sometime as a major player in the dealing of illegal drugs,” Jones said. “Our narcotics detectives did a good job with intelligence. They … got it done without incident.”

Jones said Belvin is awaiting trial for a July 2009 arrest in which he was found in possession of marijuana, ecstacy and more than 400 grams of cocaine during a raid on a LaPlace home. Jones said the drugs had been found stuffed inside a hole in one of the walls and concealed within a potato chip and a shaving cream containers. Authorities also recovered a handgun and a stolen rifle with an obliterated serial number during the 2009 raid.

“I’m very glad he is off the streets, and I intend to keep it that way,” Jones said. “He is one of the top dogs, and I want to send a message to the people he deals with. We are not going to tolerate these knuckleheads dealing drugs and disrespecting these neighborhoods. I’m tired of it, and I think many of these neighborhoods’ residents are, too.”