Craig Webre

With the latest arrest being made by the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office (TPSO) on June 27, the total count of individuals federally indicted, as of now, of a two-year joint cooperative effort by TPSO, Lafourche Parish Sherriff’s Office (LPSO), surrounding parishes law enforcement, state agencies, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other federal agencies, is brought to 18.

Kendall Mathews, 36, of Thibodaux; Earl Johnson, 39, of Thibodaux; Montrell Cleveland, 32, of Thibodaux; Dontrell Mathews, 40, of Thibodaux; Javante Coler, 25, of Thibodaux; Deondre Gramma, 26, of Thibodaux; Larry Chatman, 28, of Thibodaux; Hakeam Drane, 29, of Gray; Spencer Rounds, 29, of Gray; Michael Lewis, 33, of Edgard; Harris Henderson, 43, of Schriever; Rafael Molina, 43, of Texas; Gustavo Balderas, 32, of Texas; Michael Garza, 34, of Texas; Daniel Cabrera-Vergara Jr., 35 of Houma; Laranza Thomas, 28, of Houma; David Mar, 24, of Houma; and Andrew Anderson, 38, of LaPlace, were all indicted on drug and/or firearm violations, with the earliest indictment being made in February of this year.

This operation was a significant takedown to a drug cartel that, according to LPSO, performed major methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin trafficking in Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes.

“Cases like this one illustrate several things. They illustrate the transactional nature of narcotic trafficking. They don’t respect city boundaries, parish boundaries, state boundaries or even the boundaries of the United States,” said Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre at a press conference on July 1 with officials from the agencies involved in the investigation. “They further illustrate the value of taskforce sharing of information and resources of local sheriff’s deputies, and police officers and state police officers – partnering and participating with our federal partners as a force multiplier to be able to keep all of our streets safe. Whether those streets are in Thibodaux, Louisiana or New Orleans, Louisiana or Dallas, Texas.”

The total operation seized approximately $1 million worth of narcotics, in addition to guns and cash.

In the latest apprehension, Johnson, was found to be in possession of 5.2 pounds of methamphetamine, as well as packages containing 1.4 grams and 12.2 grams; 0.6 pounds of cocaine; 19.2 grams of crack; 13.9 grams of heroin and 13.7 grams of marijuana, according to TPSO, after deputies executed a federal warrant for him, just before dawn in Schriever that Thursday.

“There’s almost two years’ worth of investigation into this, there’s been a lot of narcotics seized through various traffic stops, search warrants and other types of operations,” TPSO Criminal Deputy Col. Terry Daigre said in a released statement by TPSO. “But all of that has resulted from a very intense and very detailed investigation conducted by our narcotics agents from Terrebonne Parish, Lafourche Parish, the Louisiana State Police and the DEA. It has affected mainly Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. We have taken almost 90 pounds of methamphetamine off the street along with pounds of cocaine and heroin with other illegal narcotics.”

Although the operation has been a success in terms of arrests made, illegal drugs seized, and guns taken off the streets, Col. Daigre and other local officials and state and federal officials acknowledge that it is still an ongoing investigation that may lead to other arrests.

“We are just to a point in this investigation where we are comfortable releasing details of it, but we have more investigations to do. We are coming to somewhat of a close on this investigation, but as in all large-scale investigations, you have other investigations that spin off from it,” Daigre said. “We are in the beginning stages of that, we do expect there to be more state and federal level arrests made along with more evidence seized in reference to this.” •

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