Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue said the department “has declared war on drug dealers and their activities. We’re tired of it.”
The department has made several arrests this week stemming from undercover investigations to even observing narcotic activity while patrolling the streets. “We’ve started our operations, and we will continue to be very aggressive,” he said.
Lartigue said this crack-down also extends to those who are burglarizing vehicles in the area. “We’ve had a rash of burglaries, especially in the parking lots of near the ball park,” he said.
Lartigue said ladies should put their purses in the trunk before they reach their destination or leave them at home. These rash vehicle burglaries have involved the theft of purses. All valuables should be kept out of sight.
Lartigue’s department has made a number of drug-related arrests in the last week. They include:
"VPPD and EPSO join forces"
Friday, March 28, the Ville Platte Police Department and Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted a joint undercover operation which led to probable cause for a search warrant, which was executed at 121 E. Beech St.
•Davis Lewis, 24, 121 E. Beech St., Ville Platte, was charged with possession with intent to distribution of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. While conducting the search, another arrest warrant was executed on Lewis for distribution of cocaine from an undercover narcotics operation conducted earlier in the year.
"Undercover warrants executed"
Undercover warrants stemming from an undercover operation in Evangeline Parish earlier in the year were executed Friday, March 26, and Thursday, March 27.
•Codie Jackson, 26, 403 E. Jefferson St., Ville Platte, was charged March 26, with distribution of crack cocaine.
•Makenzie Rubin, 21, 813 N. Coreil St., Ville Platte, was charged March 27, with possession of marijuana.
•Davius Mitchell, 19, 1706 Clement St., Ville Platte, was charged March 27, with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of cocaine.
"Officers witness drug transaction"
Two officers were patrolling an area known as a high drug traffic area Thursday, March 27, when they turned a corner and observed two individuals exchanging what appeared to be narcotics.
Officers observed one man put something into his pocket and another leave the area. They stopped Trampeus Thomas and located a rock of cocaine in his pocket. He was arrested, and Keelan Smith turned himself into authorities later.
•Tramphis Thomas, 39, 1824 Clement St., Ville Platte, was charged with possession of crack cocaine.
•Keelan Smith, 20, 614 W. Long St., Ville Platte, was charged with distribution of crack cocaine. While Smith was in police custody an arrest warrant was executed on the charge of distribution of crack cocaine. Lartigue said the arrest stemmed from an undercover narcotics operation conducted earlier in the year.
"Three charged in traffic stop"
•Brian Keith Thomas, 30, 1524 Blake St., Ville Platte, was charged March 20, with no seatbelt, reckless operation, driving under suspension, possession of crack cocaine, possession of cocaine, resisting an officer and flight from an officer.
•Eric Williams, 17, 812 N. Chataignier, Ville Platte, was charged March 20, with possession of crack cocaine, possession of cocaine and resisting an officer.
•Shameus Hilton Leday, 27, 709 N. Soileau, Ville Platte, was charged March 20, with resisting an officer, possession of cocaine and possession of crack cocaine.
Lartigue said Thomas, Williams and Leday were arrested during a routine traffic stop. Officers pulled the vehicle over, and as they reached the vehicle, Leday attempted to exit the vehicle and flee. An officer managed to keep Leday in the vehicle.
Officers witnessed Thomas reach under the seat, and then watched as he put the vehicle in drive and took off. A short chase occurred, and as the vehicle turned a curve, Leday jumped out while the vehicle was in a “fast” motion.
One officer managed to cuff Leday while the other officer followed the vehicle a short distance where it came to rest in a ditch. The occupants were taken into custody except the driver, who fled the scene. Williams turned himself into authorities later.
Lartigue thanked the public for its continued support and encouraged the public to continue reporting illegal narcotics to his office. He said all callers will remain anonymous.