Reserve resident pleads guilty after meth arrest

Published 12:12 am Wednesday, March 7, 2018

RESERVE — Two Reserve men arrested for prepping a local meth laboratory avoided jail sentences, with charges dropped altogether for one suspect, authorities said.

Roger Catoire Jr. reached a plea agreement with prosecutors last month, allowing him to enter a guilty plea for creation or operation of a clandestine laboratory for the unlawful manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance.

Catoire was sentenced to five years in jail suspended and given two years of active probation. The 40-year-old was also ordered to pay $1,865 in fees and fines.

St. John the Baptist Parish District Attorney Bridget A. Dinvaut said Catoire cooperated with law enforcement, answering questions without a lawyer present and indicating he has a substance abuse problem.

Catoire told police the drugs were for personal use, and Dinvaut said the quantity of the drugs found backs up that claim.

“Mr. Catoire has been placed on probation to address his substance abuse problem,” Dinvaut said.

St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division detectives arrested Catoire July 11 after a pharmacist tipped authorities to potential foul play.

“The pharmacist told detectives that two subjects purchased medication containing pseudoephedrine, which is a precursor item used to manufacture methamphetamine,” a Sheriff’s Office release said.

“Detectives obtained video footage of the subjects purchasing Sudafed and other precursor items used in the clandestine manufacturing of methamphetamine. In addition, detectives obtained a judicial authorized search warrant for a local residence, where additional precursor items were recovered.”

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana statute states the purchase and possession of precursor items together “is a violation of the law, even though no methamphetamine was recovered.”

In a related decision on the same day as Catoire’s plea, prosecutors dropped a clandestine laboratory charge against Dirk Delaneuville, 60, who was arrested with Catoire in July.

Dinvaut said the Court found the Sheriff’s Office “did not have the required Constitutional probable cause for” Delaneuville’s arrest.