Suspect swallows heroin to avoid authorities finding it during traffic stop; one of 3 arrested

A traffic stop turned into meth arrest last week in Terrebonne Parish.

On Aug. 21, 2019, TPSO Narcotics Agents were conducting proactive patrols in the Coteau area when they conducted a stop because of a traffic offense.

Authorities found three people in the vehicle. They identified the driver as Samuel Key, 45, from Houma. The front seat passenger was identified as Ricky Richoux, 48, of Houma, and the back seat passenger was identified as Donald Champagne, 49, of Houma.

During investigation, authorities learned that Key was in possession of crystal meth.

Richoux was also found to be in possession of crystal meth and U.S. currency.

Champagne refused to follow commands and exit the vehicle and agents had to assist in getting the suspect out of the vehicle.

Upon doing so, authorities discovered that Champagne concealed a plastic bag between his legs. The bag contained 11 separate doses of heroin.

While being interviewed, Champagne told authorities that he had eaten multiple packs of the heroin while agents were trying to stop them. He was trying to get rid of it before Agents could find it.

Key was arrested and charged with turning movements required signals and possession of methamphetamine.

Richoux is charged with possession of methamphetamine and transactions involving proceeds from narcotics activity.

Champagne was charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin and obstruction of justice.

TPSO Chief Deputy, Col Terry Daigre said “due to him ingesting an unknown amount of Heroin, Donald Champagne was transported to a local medical facility for treatment before being brought to jail. Preservation of life is always a priority”.