BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Federal state and local law enforcement agencies celebrated a big win after an investigation resulted in the bust of two drug dealers and their associates off the street.
Capital area gang task force along with members of Baton Rouge Police Department, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office and the Louisiana State Police arrested Christopher Varnado and Dearcy Robertson on several charges including racketeering, and conspiracy to distribute heroin and roxicodone.
The District Attorney's office and the Cornor's office started the investigation in 2010 after four people died of heroin overdoses from the same type of heroin. At the same time Baton Rouge police started looking into Varnado for selling a similar type of heroine.
Investigators said they found out that Varnado and Robertson had used Urban Imaging a business of Greenwell Springs as a front for selling drugs.
Later investigators said they successfully did two controlled purchases from Dearcy Robertson, one of Varnado's dealers.
From there they were able to get a wire tap in May to monitor Robertson's cellphone. Investigators say they collected information from his conversations connecting him to dealing.
Eventually investigators also got a warrant to wire tap Varnado's phone. The investigation peaked when the group got a search warrant for four homes and several safety deposit boxes at local banks.
They collected around 30 doses of heroin at a home in the 2,000 block of Ovid Street. They also collected 90 roxicodone pills at home on 2,000 block of Sobers Street.
"Make no mistake about it the people that we've arrested the two that we've named they are mid level to high level in Baton Rouge dealers of heroin," Hillar Moore, East Baton Rouge District Attorney, said. "These people don't keep large quantities around because the sales were constant so when they got it they sold it."
FBI agent Charles Delaughter said heroin use is a growing problem.
"The heroine laws allow the people to go to prison not for life sentence that it formerly was since that change in the law the heroine use and sales has risen so this has become a challenge for law enforcement," Delaughter said.
Moore says this is the tip of the iceberg and more arrest could follow.
"This heroin comes from somewhere else, and we hope to take the investigation else where. That means someone has to cooperate and cooperation is always difficult," Moore explained.
Moore said Christopher Varnado may have been involved in other drug related crimes including a home invasion and two shootings. Those investigations are still continuing.
Four others were also arrested from the heroin investigation.