POSTED: Friday, January 18, 2013 - 6:15pm
UPDATED: Friday, January 18, 2013 - 6:19pm
Lake Charles, La — Two separate drug busts were made during routine traffic stops on I-10 near Lake Charles.
On January 17, at approximately 8:45 p.m., Combined Anti-Drug Task Force (C.A.T. Team) Detective Cpl. Chris Johnson conducted a stop on a car traveling eastbound on I-10 between Vinton and Sulphur for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop, the driver of the car, Benjamin L. Mitchell, 47, began to act suspiciously.
After receiving consent from Mitchell, Cpl. Johnson conducted a search of the car and recovered a back pack in the trunk of the car containing over 5 pounds of marijuana wrapped in cellophane, with an estimated street value of approximately $10,000.
Mitchell was arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center and charged with Possession of CDS I With Intent to Distribute. His bond is still pending.
On January 18, at approximately 1:00 a.m., Combined Anti-Drug Task Force (C.A.T. Team) Detective Cpl. Johnson attempted to conduct another stop on a car traveling eastbound at the base of the I-10 Bridge for a traffic violation.
When Cpl. Johnson activated his unit’s lights and sirens signaling for the driver to stop, the driver, later identified as Ace D. Smith, 57, did not comply and continued to flee from him. During the pursuit, Smith and passenger, later identified as Anthony D. Brown, 35, began disposing of a white powdery substance, along with an unknown liquid, out of the windows of the car, finally stopping at near the I-210/Lake Charles Loop.
During a search of the pursuit path, detectives recovered approximately 1 kilo of powder cocaine, with an estimated street value of $60,000. Detectives discovered Smith and Brown attempted to dissolve the cocaine in an unknown liquid and dispose of it by throwing it out of the window to avoid recovery during the pursuit. Due to the uncertainty of the hazards associated with the liquid, Lake Charles Fire Department was dispatched and washed the substance off the roadway.
Smith and Brown were arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center and charged with possession of CDS II (cocaine) over 400 grams; flight from an officer; and obstruction of justice.