Eunice Police Officer involved in prescription pill distribution ring

Eunice Police Officer involved in prescription pill distribution ring
News
Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - 3:40pm

St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office, Narcotics Detectives have broken up a prescription pill distribution ring involving a Eunice Police Officer.

Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz said, “Narcotics Detectives received information from several sources regarding prescription pills being distributed in Eunice. The sources also stated that Raymond Trahan Jr, a Eunice Police Officer was protecting the group from law-enforcement officers and distributing pills himself.”

Sheriff Guidroz stated, “The Narcotics Detectives investigated the information and found it credible. They then informed the Internal Affairs Unit of the Eunice Police Department and briefed them on the investigation. The Sheriff’s Narcotics Detectives were then able to purchase a substantial quantity of pills from Trahan. The Narcotics Detectives also arranged for additional pill purchases and he (Trahan), told investigating officers his source of supply was picking up more pills in Houston, Texas.”

“The Narcotics Detectives along with Eunice Police Detectives escorted Trahan to a residence on College Rd. where they obtained consent to search from Trahan and the other subjects who live at the residence. During the search the Narcotics Detectives located assorted prescription pills, including Adderall, Xanex and Soma, from numerous doctors in Texas. The Narcotics Detectives also located several hand guns and assorted drug paraphernalia, Guidroz said.”

Donald Johnson, the renter of the residence, Jay Barnwell and Trahan were arrested for the items in the residence. The suspects were transported to the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office Eunice Substation and interviewed. During these interviews Barnwell, who was on Probation for previous drug charges, and Johnson stated, Johnson and Trahan would give Barnwell money to go to Texas and visit several different doctors. Barnwell would visit at least two different doctors per week and have the prescribed medication, Lortab, Xanex, Soma and Ibuprofen 800 mg, filled at pharmacy’s in Texas. Barnwell would then bring the prescription pills back to Eunice and give them to Johnson and Trahan to distribute. An estimate of the number of pills the group was distributing was approximately one-thousand prescription pills per week with a street value of approximately six thousand dollars.

Johnson told the Narcotics Detectives that at least one of the guns may be stolen because he bought the guns from a person on the street. He further stated that the group had been smoking legal weed; which is a form of incense that is sold at most corner stores.

Sheriff Guidroz stated, “The substance has created such a following and is so dangerous when not used as intended, that the legislature has classified some of the ingredients as a schedule one controlled dangerous substance and it will be illegal to possess or distribute the substance as of August 15, 2010. If you are caught in possession or distributing the substance you could face the same penalty as using or distributing Marijuana.”

During a separate but no less important arrest, Michael Leblance was suspected of distributing Methadone pills and Narcotics Detectives conducted surveillance on his activities. Narcotics Detectives later conducted a traffic stop on him and arrested him for driving under suspension. During transport to the St. Landry Parish Jail, Leblance removed several Methadone pills from his person and began to crush them to avoid being caught with the pills.

Once at the St. Landry Parish Jail, the Officers found the pills in Leblance’s hand and on the seat of the unit. He was then interviewed and he stated he did not have a prescription for the pills.

Arrested thus Far:

Raymond L. Trahan Jr. (Eunice Police Officer)

  1. Distribution of a Schedule III Controlled Dangerous Substance (Lortab)
  2. Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule IV Controlled Dangerous Substance (Xanex)
  3. Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule IV Controlled Dangerous Substance (Soma)
  4. Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Jay H. Barnwell (Probation for previous drug charges)

  1. Distribution of a Schedule III Controlled Dangerous Substance (Lortab)
  2. Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule IV Controlled Dangerous Substance (Xanex)
  3. Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule IV Controlled Dangerous Substance (Soma)
  4. Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Donald J. Johnson

  1. Distribution of a Schedule III Controlled Dangerous Substance (Lortab)
  2. Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance (Adderall)
  3. Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule IV Controlled Dangerous Substance (Xanex)
  4. Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule IV Controlled Dangerous Substance (Soma)
  5. Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  6. Illegal Carrying of Weapons (In the Presence of a Controlled Dangerous Substance)

Michael P. Leblance

  1. Failure to Signal Right Turn
  2. Driving Under Suspension
  3. Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance (Methadone)
  4. Obstruction of Justice
  5. Introducing Contraband into a Penal Institution
  6. Transactions Involving Proceeds from Drug Offenses

Sheriff Guidroz would like to thank all citizens, who have taken the time to call the St. Landry Parish Sheriff Department, to give drug information.

Anyone with information about illegal drug activity is encouraged to call the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office Drug Hotline at 948-0970. All callers remain anonymous and the information is kept confidential.

The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office, Narcotics Unit, is funded in part, by funds from the Louisiana Crime Commission and the Evangeline Law Enforcement Council.
 

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