Sheriff’s Office collects 66 pounds of prescription medications in National Drug Take-Back Day held April 27 at the Walgreens store in Chalmette
In a successful partnering with Walgreens, the Sheriff’s Office collected 66 pounds of old prescription medications from more than 25 people in the National Drug Take-Back Day held April 27 at the Walgreens store in Chalmette, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
“That’s 66 pounds of prescription drugs that will be incinerated and won’t hit our streets to be abused or thrown down toilets or sinks and ultimately affect our seafood or drinking water,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.
“We thank Walgreens for allowing us to collect the medications outside their Chalmette store so people would have a central location to come to,’’ the sheriff said.
Also, Walgreens gave out fliers to their customers in advance of the event to inform them about the National Drug Take-Back Day and the partnership with the Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office has participated for several years in the national drug take-back sponsored by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. The Sheriff’s Office had began its own take-back day in 2009 called “Operation Medicine Cabinet,’’ which encouraged residents to clean out their medicine cabinets of old prescription drugs and turn them in to the department.
People who came out April 27 helped keep prescription drugs from falling into the wrong hands and “may have saved a young person from starting a life of drugs,’’ the sheriff said.
Collecting the prescriptions were Maj. Chad Clark, head of the sheriff’s Special Investigations Division; Lt. Pat Childress, who is assigned to a Drug Enforcement Administration task force; and Sgt. Joey Alfonso of SID.
Sheriff Pohlmann also came by to thank Walgreens officials. Present from Walgreens were Bill Hagoort, district manager; Dustin Mares, community leader for Walgreens stores in St. Bernard Parish and eastern New Orleans; and Gerard Robinette, district loss prevention manager.
St. Bernard residents are reminded they should call the sheriff’s 271-DOPE hot line any time to report suspected illegal drug activity or the same number if they want to turn in prescription drugs at any time between official drug take-back days. A Narcotics Unit agent will call them back to make arrangements.
Man in custody for DWI in school bus accident in which a woman was injured when her auto was pushed under the bus; 7 elementary school students on bus had minor injuries
A St. Bernard Parish man was in custody for DWI and vehicular negligent injury after his vehicle slammed into the back of an auto stopped behind a public school bus on Tuesday, injuring the driver of the other car and shaking up the seven students on the bus, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
None of the students from Joseph Davies Elementary School in Meraux were seriously injured or transported to a hospital after the 4:30 p.m. crash on East St. Bernard Highway at Mumphrey Road in Chalmette, Sheriff Pohlmann said. All 7 students were released to their parents or guardians, he said.
The accident happened as the bus, headed east, was stopped to drop off students and the arrested subject rear-ended a vehicle stopped behind the bus, the sheriff said. The impact forced the auto that was hit to go under the bus, requiring extrication of the driver of that vehicle, the sheriff said.
Roy Nunez, 48, who lives on Massicott Road in the Poydras area of eastern St. Bernard Parish, was arrested afterward for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. He was also booked with nine counts of vehicular negligent injury and reckless operation, Sheriff Pohlmann said. Nunez was taken to St. Bernard Parish Prison.
A Violet woman, Andreau Naquin, no age available, who was driving the auto forced under the bus when struck by Nunez, was taken to St. Bernard Parish Hospital. She wasn’t believed to be seriously injured, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Ingargiola investigated the accident.
Sheriff and other officials congratulate parish’s graduating seniors but remind them to resist under-age drinking; School officials monitor prom night and Project Graduation aims for safe graduation night
There’s the pomp and circumstance that go with a high school graduation. But there is also the yearning of graduates to celebrate, and maybe too hard. Maybe drink or do drugs and drive from one place to another, risking their lives and others on the road.
Sheriff James Pohlmann, along with officials at Chalmette High – which has its prom night May 11 and graduation ceremony May 16 – and volunteers with the nonprofit St. Bernard Project Graduation congratulate all seniors who live in St. Bernard Parish.
But they also want to remind them to resist under-age drinking or using drugs as part of their celebration and to encourage them to look for safe ways to have their fun and create good memories of their final days in high school.
“Sadly, alcohol consumption leading to car crashes is one of the main causes of death and injury among teenagers,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.
“We all want you to have fun,’’ the sheriff said.“But don’t make a mistake celebrating your graduation that you will regret for the rest of your life.’’ During prom and graduation season in April, May and June, hundreds of students under the age of 21 have been killed or injured in alcohol-or drug-related traffic crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. One-third of the alcohol-related accidents involving teens each year occur during those three months, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Experts say the biggest deterrent to under-age drinking is having parents or guardians who talk to their teens about its dangers, the sheriff said. What can they do?
Talk to your teen-agers about drinking before prom and graduation, the sheriff said. “Send clear messages that you do not want your teen to drink alcohol and tell them why you have that value.”
• Find out who is driving among your teen’s group that night. Make sure that everyone understands that under no circumstances should anyone get into a vehicle when the driver has been drinking alcohol. Limit the number of passengers to minimize distractions for the driver.
• Require them to always wear their seatbelts.
School officials do their best to provide a safe environment for graduates to celebrate on prom night and St. Bernard’s Project Graduation – a nonprofit group of volunteers including parents – has a post-graduation all-night party for students which doesn’t include alcohol.
Schools Superintendent Doris Voitier and Chalmette High Principal Wayne Warner make sure the prom is monitored by adults and that music and dinner are provided. Students are monitored as they enter and aren’t allowed inside if they have been drinking, Warner said.
He said students are encouraged to have fun in a safe environment and stay for the whole prom rather than leaving early.
“It’s a big night for them,’’ Warner said, and officials don’t want anything to detract from that. “We provide activities for a positive experience. And we emphasize students should avoid things that could ge them in trouble.”
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, St. Bernard’s Project Graduation hosts a night of games, music and food for graduating seniors, who even get a chance at cash prizes if they stay the night in a lockdown environment.
Immediately after the graduation ceremonies in the front half of the Frederick Sigur Civic Center in Chalmette, the scene shifts to the ballroom in the back of the building for an all-night party until 6 a.m. the next morning.
“It is a carnival-like atmosphere,’’ said Brenda Simpson, chairwoman of St. Bernard Project Graduation, who has been active with the group for years. “In a way it’s their last night to be a kid before they have to think about going to work or get ready for further studies and a career.’’
“We provide many activities including a drawing at the end of the night for cash.” Simpson said Project Graduation, a nonprofit charitable organization chartered by Louisiana and recognized as a (501)C3 group by the Internal Revenue Service, can use more volunteers for this year’s event. They must be at leasr 21.
Anyone interested in helping out can call her at (504) 682-0753. “If people can just donate a couple hours of their time that would be great,” she said. “We organize people to work in shifts.”
Last year, Simpson said, approximately 160 students participated in Project Graduation .
Gwen Price, co-chairwoman, said she is involved out of concern for the safety of graduates who might be tempted to over-celebrate on their big night. “We don’t want them drinking and driving,” she said, and prefer they have fun in a more controlled atmosphere.
If students want to leave without staying the night their parents or guardians are notified.
Sheriff Pohlmann said there will be a Sheriff’s Office presence at the Project Graduation party.
Lt. Justin Meyers of the Sheriff’s Office has been volunteering to help chaperone the party for several years.
He said he enjoys seeing the graduates have fun in a positive way. Meyers said he stayed for the all-night Project Graduation party when he was a high school senior and remembers it as a great night.
“It was one of the best times I ever had.’’
Deputies catch two men on roof in act of burglarizing empty supermarket building in Arabi and one man in an attic of a Chalmette duplex under renovation
Two men who had a rental truck waiting for them as they were on a roof burglarizing air-conditioning units of an empty supermarket building in Arabi early April 23, were caught by sheriff’s deputies, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
Also, early the morning of April 22, deputies caught a man inside an attic of a Chalmette duplex residence that was under renovation on one side as he was cutting copper pipe to steal from the air-conditioning system, the sheriff said.
Sheriff Pohlmann said the arrests “show theft of copper for sale to scrap metal dealers remains a problem law enforcement agencies are still battling long after Hurricane Katrina. The storm created a cottage industry for thieves because it left so many vacant buildings dotting the landscape.”
Two men were caught about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday on the roof of the old Winn-Dixie store on West Judge Perez Drive in Arabi, where they had broken into the business, then cut a lock to get on the roof where they attempted to disassemble air-conditioning systems to steal copper and other parts, the sheriff said.
They had a rental truck outside to haul away the stolen items but they never made it back to the vehicle.
Deputies Bryan Fleetwood and Jeffery Westerfield made the arrests after finding the burglars, who were trying to hide by lying on the roof.
A man who identified himself as property manager for the building came to one deputy before they went on the roof and said he had called the Sheriff’s Office after he saw two men enter the building and come out on the roof.
There was extensive damage to equipment on the roof, the sheriff said. A bag of miscellaneous tools brought into the building by the burglars was recovered.
Booked with burglary were: John Lyerly, 51, and Norman Clark, 60, both of New Orleans. The parish Fire Department was requested to bring a truck to the scene and helped get the men down from the roof.
Lyerly and Clark, who both have previous criminal records, were put in St. Bernard Parish Prison, where both are being held in lieu of bonds set at $35,000 each.
In the other case, William Manino, 39, 3405 Evangeline Drive, Chalmette, was arrested about 3 a.m. April 22 after breaking into the unoccupied side of a double residence on Evangeline, near his own residence, the sheriff said.
Manino is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison in lieu of bond set at $41,400. He was booked with burglary attempted theft, criminal damage and possession of burglary tools.
The Sheriff’s Office was notified by a company managing the duplex that the occupant on one side had heard someone in the unoccupied portion next door.
Deputies James Norsworthy and Jason Spadoni went through the unoccupied side of the duplex and found no one in the living space but a ladder was lowered from the attic, the sheriff said.
Manino was seen standing in the attic, near the access ladder.
He admitted he was cutting copper pipe from the air-condition system when deputies arrived, Sheriff Pohlmann said. The suspect also said another man he knew only as John had broken into the duplex with him but had left before deputies arrived, claiming he didn’t know his last name.
Tools were found by deputies in the attic, as well as pipe Manino was cutting.
Juvenile male arrested in five auto burglaries; Separately, two-teenagers arrested for house burglary; Four adults booked with theft of metal
Teen-agers were arrested in seven recent burglaries and thefts in Chalmette – a 14-year-old boy burglarized five vehicles while out on bond from a previous break-in arrest and, separately, 18-year-old and 16-year-old males were arrested together for a house burglary and theft from a vehicle, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
The 14-year-old was arrested April 18 for five burglaries of vehicles and has been placed in the Juvenile Detention Center.
The boy, whose name can’t be released because he is a minor, had been out on bond at the time of his arrest from an earlier incident in which he was booked with burglary of a vehicle.
As is most often the case with vehicle break-ins in St. Bernard, the owners had left them unlocked.
Sheriff Pohlmann reminds residents there would be a much lesser chance of a vehicle being broken into or stolen if they were locked when parked.
In the house burglary arrest, Alec St. Germain, 18, 2036 Brigade, Chalmette, was booked April 17 with burglary of an inhabited dwelling and with contributing to the delinquency of a 16-year-old Chalmette boy arrested with him on the house burglary count, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
The name of the other teen-ager, also booked with burglary, wasn’t released because he is a minor.
Game consoles were stolen from a residence and four games that were among items stolen were recovered at the 16-yerar-old’s home, the sheriff said.
Later, when St. Germain and the teen-ager were arrested for burglary, two GPS systems suspected to have been stolen from a car were recovered in the minor’s back pack, along with a receipt from a pawn shop indicating St. Germain had pawned two game consoles there.
Long with the other chargesmof theft and possession of stolen property were filed against St. Germain over the recovered GPS systems, the sheriff said.
St. Germain was placed in Parish Prison, being held in lieu of a total bond of $31,000.
The 16-year was placed in the Juvenile Detention Cetner.
In an unrelated arrest, two men and two women were booked April 10 with theft and criminal trespassing when they were caught loading $250 worth of scrap metal outside a business on Jean Lafitte Parkway into a pickup truck. the sheriff said.
Arrested were Steve Crappel, 31, and Jessica Stoddard, 28, both of 3436 Rose Ave., Chalmette; Ricky Fayard Jr., 38, 2213 Kingfisher Dr. in the Poydras area; and Brandi Sander, 30, 2905 Volpe Drive, Chalmette.
A witness who worked in a business on Jean Lafitte told sheriff’s deputies one of the women came into the business and asked if they could have scrap metal that was outside and he said he told the four of them no they couldn’t. Despite the denial, they were seen by a deputy when they had the scrap metal and other items in the truck.
There was no bond information.
April 14-20 is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, designated as a time to recognize the men and women such as 9-1-1 calltakers who dispatch emergency professionals during routine work and times of crisis. For the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office, the deputies who dispatch both patrol and other divisions work in the Col. Jerry Rathburn 9-1-1 Center on West St. Bernard Highway in Chalmette. On Thursday, April 18, there was a cake to mark Telecommunications Week and a visit by Sheriff James Pohlmann, at right, Chief Deputy Richard Baumy, seconf from left, and Lt. Robert Broadhead, at left. Shown with them in the 9-1-1 Center are Deputies Darlene Langsford, Heather Lyons and Shane Samaniego.
State District Judge Kirk Vaughn, senior judge among the five judges of the 34th Judicial District Court in Chalmette, is shown cutting the ribbon for the Thursday, April 18, ceremony marking the reopening of the St. Bernard Parish Courthouse in Chalmette. Dozens of parish elected officials, officials of FEMA, and Chamber of Commerce officials were on hand for the ceremony. A parish landmark that was built in 1939, the Courthouse reopened in March after being closed about three years to remediate mold and renovate offices. Parish President David Peralta noted its reopening completes the three finished buildings of Courthouse Square in Chalmette, all owned by parish government. It consists of the Courthouse on West St. Bernard Highway, the Sheriff’s Annex, which reopened in October 2011 and faces Pakenham Drive, and the third building that lies between the two, which opened in October 2012 on the site of the old parish jail, and has an address of 2118 Jackson Blvd.
Church official in St. Bernard Parish booked with felony theft by systematic embezzlement of more than $100,000 since 2006
An official of a church in St. St. Bernard Parish was booked Friday with felony theft by systematic embezzlement of more than $100,000 since 2006, following an investigation requested by church members, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
Trinette Johnson, 39, of Violet, longtime church secretary and account executive for the Greater Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, 1904 Goodwill Dr. Violet, surrendered at the parish jail on Friday after she was told by authorities a judge had signed a warrant for her arrest for felony theft, the sheriff said.
She was expected to be released on bond set at $10,000.
Johnson is accused of systematically misappropriating $101,872 of church funds by means of fraudulent conduct and practices since August 16, 2006. Sheriff Pohlmann said that at the end of February of this year the Sheriff’s Office was presented a letter signed by 33 members of the church saying the body of the church at Greater Mount Olive Missisionay Baptist Church wanted to pursue criminal charges in a matter where church funds were missing.
The department was presented with a copy church banking records going back to March 2006 and information that a forensic specialist with a CPA firm was retained to conduct accounting duties relative to identify the suspected theft of church funds.
The church trustee board reviewed a financial report submitted by the firm they hired, Sheriff Pohlmann said, and made the determination that Trinette Johnson, the church account executive, had been responsible for allegedly misappropriating more than $100,000 in church funds, since Aug. 16, 2006.
A judge signed a warrant for her arrest.
Arrest made in murder of man shot to death in Chalmette the night of March 16 and left on a street north of Paris Road, near New Orleans line
After an investigation which eventually led to Memphis, Tenn., St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s detectives have arrested a man for the March 16 murder of a man brought to Chalmette, shot to death and found on a street the next morning, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
Jason “Fatt’’ Madison, 31, who is from the New Orleans area but has a residence in Memphis, was booked with second-degree murder in the death of Herman Jones Jr. 33, known as “Peanut,’’ who had lived in Gretna but had no home address when murdered.
Jones was shot several times at the scene where his body was found the morning of March 17 by a passer-by, in the 4000 block of Lavosier Street in Chalmette, in an industrial area north of Paris Road, near the New Orleans line. A number of casings were recovered there.
It is believed Jones was killed before midnight the night of March 16.
Madison, who knew the victim and had been arrested recently in Memphis on a probation violation warrant from New Orleans, is now being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison, the sheriff said. He is being held on a $1 million bond after a judge signed a warrant for his arrest on the murder charge.
Sheriff Pohlmann said, “This arrest comes after an extensive investigation by our Criminal Investigations Bureau – headed by Maj. Robert McNab – who along with Det. Sgt. Paul Miller followed the evidence to Memphis and interviewed Madison there prior to him even being booked there with the probation violation.”
In the interview in Memphis, Madison acknowledged knowing the victim and being with him in New Orleans the night of March 16, less than an hour before Jones was murdered, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
“We have identified a motive for the killing of Mr. Jones but aren’t going to reveal it at this time,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said, indicating the investigation is continuing and it is possible other arrests will be made.
“I’m proud of our detectives. We devoted a tremendous amount of manpower to solving this murder,’’ the sheriff said. “We conducted an investigation that took us to New Orleans, Jefferson Parish and eventually to Memphis and we were aided by New Orleans Police, Kenner Police, Louisiana State Police, the Shelby County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office, Memphis Police and the U.S. Marshal’s Service.’’
Sheriff Pohlmann said, “The victim wasn’t from St. Bernard but that made no difference to us. We went as far as we had to go to solve a murder.’’
Sheriff’s detectives developed information identifying Madison and others as possible suspects, the sheriff said.
It was found the victim and Madison knew each other and had been arrested together in 2008.
“We obtained video footage from the area of the murder scene,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said, “and was able to identify a vehicle used to bring Mr. Jones to the spot where he was killed.” That vehicle was recovered in Kenner in late March, brought to St. Bernard and has been processed for forensic evidence that was given to the State Police crime lab, the sheriff said.
The sheriff also said detectives acquired video surveillance from French Quarter businesses from the night of the killing which has assisted in the investigation.