November investigation leads to more drug arrests

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 18, 2010



LAPLACE – Authorities in St. John the Baptist Parish have arrested two men wanted in connection with a November narcotics investigation involving the arrest of a high-level drug dealer and the seizure of more than 4 kilograms of cocaine.

Raydell Scott, 34, of Mt. Airy, and Paul Joseph Jr., 35, of Lutcher, were each charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine for their involvement in an alleged plot to distribute 4.5 kilos of cocaine that had been seized during a Nov. 5 drug bust, said Capt. Dane Clement, public information officer for the St. John Sheriff’s Office.

Clement said the drugs were seized from a pick-up truck during a traffic stop on River Road. The occupants of the vehicle, Anthony Belvin, 28, of Mt. Airy and Courtney Devare, 29, of LaPlace were arrested and charged with possession with the intent to distribute cocaine after deputies found the drugs hidden in the truck’s tailgate. Clement said the street value of the drugs is believed to be more than $500,000.

Clement said detectives would not say exactly how Scott and Joseph were involved in the investigation. Clement said the investigation revealed the two men were conspiring to possess the seized cocaine. He would not say if the men planned to purchase the drugs from Belvin and Devare or if they were just additional distributors.

Joseph was arrested Tuesday on the initial warrant while Scott was arrested Dec. 10 following execution of a search warrant on his Marigold Street home. During that raid, investigators found Scott in possession of drug paraphernalia, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines, Clement said.

Clement said Joseph is being held on a $1 million bond while Scott is being held on a $1.08 million bond. Both were jailed at the Sherman Walker Correctional Facility in LaPlace.

At the time of Belvin’s arrest, Sheriff Wayne Jones described him as a mid- to upper-level drug dealer who is believed to be a major source in the transportation of cocaine from Baton Rouge to New Orleans.

“I’m very glad he is off the streets, and I intend to keep it that way,” Jones said.