Police: Man busted twice for drugs, including trying to sneak pills into jail

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, January 10, 2018

LAPLACE — An out-of-towner is facing drug dealing and smuggling charges after his arrest Friday.

St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies were directed to a potential drug dealer alert at approximately 8:50 p.m. in the 2500 block of North Sugar Ridge Drive in LaPlace.

Upon arrival, deputies located a man inside a truck with the odor of marijuana emanating from it, according to a Sheriff’s Office release.

Deputies identified the driver as Fernando Gustavo Lanza, 26, of New Orleans, who authorities said initially locked the doors and refused to allow deputies entry.

“After Lanza was detained, he agreed to unlock the doors and allow deputies to search the truck,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “Upon searching the vehicle, deputies recovered six grams of marijuana inside (a) glass jar as well as two marijuana cigarettes. Lanza admitted that the drugs were his.”

During the booking process, police said corrections officers recovered a plastic bag with approximately 28 grams of marijuana, 18 hydrocodone pills and 3 half pills of hydrocodone that Lanza attempted to conceal on his person.

“It is good to see patrol units respond and react to this investigation and not rely on another division to come in and take over,” Sheriff Mike Tregre said. “I would also like to commend correctional staff officers for doing a very good job performing their duties.”

Lanza was released Saturday on a $32,500 bond. He is charged with possession of hydrocodone (felony), possession with intent to distribute marijuana, taking contraband to a penal institution (felony) and possession of marijuana 1st offense (misdemeanor).