Meth dealer pleads guilty in St. John drug operation

Published 12:13 am Saturday, May 19, 2018

NEW ORLEANS — A drug dealer who was buying a pound of methamphetamine a week to use in resale around St. John the Baptist Parish faces at least a decade in jail following his guilty plea last week, authorities said.

Brad Blank, 42, pleaded guilty May 10 to conspiring to distribute at least 50 grams of methamphetamine.

The Garyville resident faces ten years to life and a fine of up to $10,000,000 followed by supervised release, according to U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans.

Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon set sentencing for Aug. 16.

According to a factual basis of the case released by Evans’ office, Blank said he was buying meth from Thorne Brown on a per week basis.

Officers with the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office and Drug Enforcement Administration closed in on Blank Oct. 11, 2017, during a search of his home.

Authorities said Blank ran after spotting the agents, throwing methamphetamine out of his vehicle window in the process.

Blank was apprehended, and authorities said they recovered four grams of meth that Blank threw from his window and additional small amounts in the vehicle. In Blank’s home, agents recovered 113 grams of meth, 42 grams of marijuana, a digital scale and other contraband.

The 113 grams of methamphetamine was wrapped in 12 individual bags.

Blank said he was buying drugs from Brown, who was one of two area men indicted this year for running a meth distribution operation that handled hundreds of grams of the illegal narcotic.

A federal grand jury indicted Brown, of Gramercy and known as Gucci, along Edwin “Pete” Watson of LaPlace on Jan. 26.

If convicted, those defendants face terms of up to life in prison.

Brown and Watson are scheduled for trial in August.