NEW ROADS, La. (BRPROUD) – After a seven-month investigation, the Louisiana State Police along with federal, state and local police departments arrested 12 members of an alleged drug trafficking organization.

“We had a joint effort in possibly one of the largest drug busts in Pointe Coupee history,” said Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff René Thibodeaux.

According to State Police, the investigation began with the Louisana State Police Criminal Investigation Division and the Baton Rouge Field Office looking into 43-year-old Elie Edwards for allegedly selling heroin and methamphetamine in Pointe Coupee Parish. Allegedly Edwards is the leader of the operation.

During a search on Thursday, Aug. 4, officers found 2 semiautomatic handguns (1 stolen out of Pointe Coupee), 1 AR-15 rifle, heroin (18.6 pounds approx.), cocaine (1.2 pounds approx.), methamphetamine (1.2 pounds approx.), marijuana (4.4 pounds approx.), pressed pills (25 grams approx.), synthetic marijuana (1.4 pounds approx.).  The seized narcotics have an estimated total street value of $600,000.

“This is mid-level cities types of drugs,” said District Attorney Tony Clayton. “When you see a little small city like New Roads with this we got a problem.”

One of the accused is 53-year-old Loretta Dobard, who has worked in law enforcement for years, according to Sheriff Thibodeaux.

“One lady that formally worked for the sheriff’s office is currently working part-time for the New Roads City Police Department, is possibly one of our suspects,” Thibodeaux said.

New Roads Police Chief Kevin McDonald said Dobard answered the phones for his department and she has been let go from her position for her alleged role in the drug bust.

Despite being such a large bust, the investigation is not over yet.

“The investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are expected,” said Louisiana State Police Superintendent Col. Lamar Davis.

The following individuals were arrested on various narcotics charges:

  • 43-year-old Elie Edwards of New Roads — Attempt and Conspiracy-Distribution of Heroin, Methamphetamine, Marijuana/Synthetic Cannabinoids, Cocaine, Schedule IV (Felony), Distribution/Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, Distribution/Possession with Intent to Distribute Schedule II CDS- Methamphetamine (Felony), Distribution/Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids Felony), Illegal Possession of Stolen Firearms (Felony), Possession of Firearm or Carrying Concealed Weapon by a Person Convicted or Certain Felonies (Felony)
  • 42-year-old David Hayes of New Roads — Attempt and Conspiracy (Felony), Distribution/Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin (Felony), Prohibited Acts-Schedule II (Felony), and Prohibited Acts-Schedule IV (Felony)
  • 43-year-old Shannon Labatut of New Roads — Attempt and Conspiracy-Distribution of Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Marijuana/Synthetic Cannabinoids (Felony), Distribution/Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, or synthetic cannabinoids (Felony), Distribution/Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin (Felony)
  • 31-year-old Jerlanda Foster of New Roads — Attempt and Conspiracy (Felony)
  • 53-year-old Loretta Dobard of New Roads — Attempt and Conspiracy (Felony), Malfeasance in Office (Felony)
  • 36-year-old Mary Victorian of New Roads — Attempt and Conspiracy (Felony), Transactions involving proceeds from drug offenses
  • 61-year-old William Tynes of Ethel — Distribution/Possession with Intent to Distribute Narcotic Drugs Listed in Schedule 1 (Felony), and Prohibited Acts-Schedule IV, Penalties (Felony)
  • 32-year-old Bryan Francois of New Roads — Attempt and Conspiracy- Distribution/Possession with intent to distribute Schedule II CDS (Felony)
  • 30-year-old Darrel Harris of New Roads — Attempt and Conspiracy- Distribution/Possession with intent to distribute Schedule 1 and Schedule II (CDS)
  • 41-year-old Joshua Gustin of Ventress — Attempt and Conspiracy- Distribution/Possession with intent to distribute Schedule 1 and Schedule II (CDS) Felony
  • 34-year-old Leighann Kirby of Jarreau — Attempt and Conspiracy- Prohibited Acts-Schedule II, and Obstruction of Justice-Evidence Tampering
  • 40-year-old Michael A. Edwards of New Roads — Attempt and Conspiracy to Distribution of Schedule II CDS