Update: 5 arrested after Davis Court drug raid

Published 5:55 pm Monday, November 9, 2015

LAPLACE — After four days of surveillance, St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Office personnel arrested five men and seized more than $2,000 in illegal drugs, authorities said.

The arrests occurred Friday, when Deputies apprehended Gary Davis, 56, of LaPlace; Jarvis Davis, 30, of LaPlace; Damion Davis, 35, of LaPlace; Ephraim Williams, 39, of LaPlace’ and Milton Joseph Jr., 40, of LaPlace.

The suspects were arrested at Gary’s residence at Davis Court in LaPlace.

Sheriff Mike Tregre said the case began when deputies received multiple tips from community members about drug interactions at the residence.

“We set up surveillance and we could observe an open drug market daytime and nighttime,” Tregre said. “There were multiple players in this case. We didn’t want to just catch one; we wanted to catch all the parties involved in this operation and this network. We wanted to see the entire system, all the players, the delivers, the buyers, the sellers; you want to build a strong case.”

After executing a search and seizure warrant Friday, deputies found 16 grams of crack cocaine (estimated value of $1,600), 300 grams of marijuana (estimated value of $500) and 22 grams of synthetic marijuana (estimated value of $100) and a stolen handgun.

“The drugs will be held as evidence — sent to the lab and confirmed it’s narcotics and then held as evidence for trial,” Tregre said.

The sheriff described the bust as “street-level dealing.”

“This wasn’t a major operation, but narcotics dealing does cause major problems,” he said.

“You don’t know exactly how much (narcotics) you are going to find until you execute the search warrant. A lot of what we were seeing was hand-to-hand sales, not large sums of narcotics or large sums of cash.”

Tregre said deputies watched drug transactions day and night but are not pursuing charges on those who bought the drugs.

“The people who were buying were probably users and probably already consumed what they purchased,” he said.

“We are more focused on the organization and the buyers and the suppliers. We aren’t going after the people who are necessarily users, buying $10 and $20 purchases. They are not the targets. They are the ones who need rehabilitation.”

Tregre said getting drugs off the streets is always a good thing.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s major suppliers or street-level, it does help our crime-fighting efforts,” he said.

“It was a very good job done by the detectives. It was a lot of time sitting in the woods being eaten alive by mosquitoes conducting surveillance. They did and awesome job.”

According to Sgt. Dane Clement, all five men are still in jail as of Tuesday morning at press time.

Gary Davis’ bond is set at $150,000, Jarvis Davis’ bond is set at $150,150, Damion Davis’ bond is $150,000, Williams’ bond is $150,300 and Joseph’s bond is $150,000.

The men were charged with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana.

Williams was also charged with two outstanding warrants for contempt of court and Joseph with violation of probation/parole.

— By Raquel Derganz Baker