St. John drug sweep nets 11

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 6, 2011



LAPLACE – A four-month undercover drug operation by the St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Office netted 11 suspects accused of selling and purchasing assorted drugs throughout the parish, according to a release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Capt. Dane Clement, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said the operation, dubbed “Quiet Storm II,” was initiated after the sheriff’s Narcotics Division received several citizen complaints about suspected drug activity throughout the parish. An identical operation, which also resulted in 11 arrests, was conducted in the parish in April.

“This is an ongoing exercise that is always constantly monitored,” Clement said. “When we get multiple complaints from residents, we go into the neighborhoods in question and attempt to execute transactions. Once we get enough evidence, we do a sweep and make multiple arrests.”

Clement said the complaints and subsequent investigation were not confined to one specific area of the parish. He said the investigation validated many of the complaints from residents, and as a result 11 judicial warrants were issued and executed in late July.

Investigations are still ongoing parishwide in an attempt to further identify drug distribution networks, Clement said.

Those arrested as part of the most recent drug operation were Ray Ratliff, 50, of Chad B. Baker Street, Reserve, for distribution of cocaine; Rhynell Price, 18, of Delta Road, LaPlace, for distribution of marijuana; Rashanda Harding, 35, of Short Street, Norco, for distribution of cocaine; David Nestor, 31, of Covington for distribution of a schedule II pharmaceutical; Durell Daigre, 43, of Historic Main Street, Garyville, for two counts of distribution of cocaine; Phillip Ellis, 43, of Lil Hope Street, Garyville, for three counts of distribution of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia; Trayvon Lilly, 24, of NW Third Street, Reserve, for attempt and conspiracy to possess marijuana; James Miller, 37, of East 13th Street, Reserve, for distribution of cocaine and an outstanding bench warrant; Ellis Batiste Jr., 18, of West Second Street, LaPlace, for distribution of marijuana; Gerard Sterling, 24, of Esplanade Street, LaPlace, for distribution of marijuana and an outstanding bench warrant; and John Miller, 35, of North Sugar Ridge Drive, LaPlace, for two counts of distribution of cocaine, two counts of distribution of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, illegal carrying of a firearm and resisting a deputy.

Clement said Price, Nestor, Daigre, Ellis and Lilly have since bonded out of jail, but the rest remain incarcerated at the Sherman Walker Correctional Facility in LaPlace.