Man’s body found early Friday morning behind a former church building in Violet; No cause of death listed pending an autopsy
St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s deputies found a man’s body early Friday morning. Sept. 27, behind a former church building in Violet but no cause of death has been listed pending an autopsy to be done today, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
There weren’t signs of injuries that would have been fatal.
The body of the man, whose name hasn’t been released, was found about 3 a.m. off First Street in Violet, in an grass area behind the former Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church building, which is in the 6300 block of East St. Bernard Highway, just east of the Violet Canal, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Officers found the man after reports that one or more people had dumped a body in bushes near the Violet Canal.
Sheriff’s detectives were following leads on who may have brought the body to where the man was found, the sheriff said.
No arrests have been made.
Man whose body found early Friday behind a former church building in Violet had no signs of trauma, an autopsy showed, and foul play isn’t suspected; Sheriff’s Office looking into who brought him there
An autopsy showed a Violet area man whose body was found early Friday morning behind a former church building in Violet had no signs of trauma and foul play isn’t suspected, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
Toxicology tests that would indicate more about the possible cause of death of the man, identified as Tagh Moore, 33, were conducted but the results will take time before they are available, the sheriff said.
Also, sheriff’s detectives are looking into who left Moore in a grassy area behind the former Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church building, which is in the 6300 block of East St. Bernard Highway, the sheriff said.
Moore was found by the Sheriff’s Office about 3 a.m. Friday, between First Street and the rear of the old church building, after reports that a dead man had been left in bushes near the Violet Canal, which is just west of the church building.
The sheriff also said investigators, after obtaining a search warrant from a judge, searched an abandoned house in the area, which is where information received indicated Moore had been inside on Thursday night.
Sheriff’s detectives are following leads on who may have brought the body to where Moore was found, the sheriff said.
Officer who saw a drug transaction in one parish followed suspect to Chalmette, where he was arrested when $2,500 in heroin, crack and a gun were found
In a very unusual case, a police officer who witnessed a drug transaction in one parish followed the suspected dealer to Chalmette, where he was arrested when $2,500 in heroin and crack cocaine and a gun were found in his girlfriend’s home, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
“This is what can happen when law enforcement agencies have good working relationships which cross parish lines,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.
“This heroin and crack didn’t make it to the streets of Chalmette because an officer in another parish was alert, knew he had seen something criminal taking place, and followed the suspected dealer and notified our department, which investigated and made the arrest,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Travis Enclade, 33, living with a woman at 3712 Richelieu Court, was booked with numerous charges Tuesday, Sept. 24, after officers from the Special Investigations Division responded to the call from the officer who followed Enclade. Enclade acknowledged he had drugs and the woman, who wasn’t arrested, gave written consent to a search of the home, the sheriff said.
Nearly a half-ounce, or 14 grams, of heroin worth about $1,400 was found in the home, along with about 11 grams of crack cocaine worth some $1,100 and a semi-automatic handgun, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a pain pill were found, said Maj. Chad Clark, commander of SID.
Neither the department the officer works with nor the parish where he witnessed the suspected drug transaction were identified because he was working a separate drug investigation that can’t be compromised, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Enclade, who is a convicted felon with numerous charges in his criminal history including attempted first-degree murder, drug charges and multiple burglary counts, was booked into St. Bernard Parish Prison.
He was booked with possession with intent to distribute heroin and crack, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a small amount of marijuana and a pill of hydrocodone, possession of drug paraphernalia including a scale, baggies and a razor, illegal use of controlled substances in the presence of juveniles and illegal carrying of weapons in connection with controlled substances.
Sheriff Pohlmann said the officer who informed St. Bernard authorities about the suspected drug dealer, said he saw a woman use a pay phone and shortly thereafter Enclade arrived. She got into his car and conducted an apparent drug transaction, then they drove away separately, the officer said.
The officer followed the suspected drug dealer to Chalmette and saw him enter 3712 Richelieu Court, the sheriff said.
Man living with parents in Chalmette caught with $700 of heroin only 6 months after his release from prison, serving nearly 15 years for armed robbery
Only six months since his release from prison where he served nearly 15 years for armed robbery, a man living with his parents in Chalmette was arrested with $700 worth of heroin, moe than $2,000 cash and paraphernalia for distributing drugs, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
Danon Barton, 35, 8524 Fairfax Drive, had been identified as selling heroin in the parish and was stopped as he left his parents’ home, with a small bag of heroin in his pants and $1,500 cash in one hand, Sheriff Pohlmann said. He was on parole at the time through 2015.
Agents of the sheriff’s Special Investigations Division executed a search warrant at the residence after stopping Barton on Sept. 20 and altogether about a quarter-ounce of heroin, or 7 grams worth about $700 was recovered. More than $700 cash was also found in his bed room, Maj. Chad Clark, commander of SID said.
Barton was booked with possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia including a digital scale, cut corner baggies that had residue on them, a razor and sugar, used as a cutting agent to increase the appearance of the size of the drug.
Barton was booked into St. Bernard Parish Prison, where he is being held without bond as a parole violator.
Anyone who suspects illegal drug activity in St. Bernard Parish should call the SID office at 271-DOPE and they can leave an anonymous message. All such messages will be acted on.
National Night Out Against Crime to be held Tuesday, Oct. 15, as event has found its permanent place in cooler fall weather; Call 278-7628 to register a party and a deputy will come to give crime prevention tips
This year marks the 30th annual celebration of National Night Out Against Crime.
St. Bernardians should call Capt. Charles Borchers at (504) 278-7628 to register any gathering of residents that night and a sheriff’s deputy will come out to give crime prevention tips and answer any questions, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
“We have seen a good response to our decision two years to move National Night Out from its past dates in early August to mid-October,’’ the sheriff said. “The weather is so much more pleasant and fun for families to be outside with others to celebrate and make a statement they refuse to put up with crime in their area. It shows you care about your neighborhood.’’
Sheriff Pohlmann also said, “We have usually had good cooperation with residents.’’ Some 30 group events were held in St. Bernard last year, some at churches and public places as well at private homes.
“We encourage getting together as a way to show that people have taken a stand against crime and intend to watch out for each other’s property,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann also said.
Typical of those holding events in 2012 was Rosetta Santiago, who had lived in Violet 37 years.
She said she began holding gatherings with friends and neighbors to celebrate the National Night Out Against Crime prior to Hurricane Katrina because she thought she needed to.
“It was bad around here then’’ because of criminal elements hanging in the area, Santiago said last year at her home on Guerra Drive. “But we cleaned it up over the years. Now we want to keep it that way.’’
Sheriff Pohlmann said, “I feel we are winning the fight against crime’’ in St. Bernard, evidenced by extremely low numbers of violent incidents – especially random incidents involving people who don’t know one another.
The sheriff said anyone who sees something suspicious happening in their area should quickly call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 and try to give a description of people and vehicles involved. Narcotics activity can be reported either to the same number or the sheriff’s drug hotline at 271-DOPE.
Capt. Borchers also heads the Reserve Officers Division, Neighborhood Watch programs and coordinates the free classes held for Citizens Police Academy and the free Refuse to be a Victim program. Call Borchers at 278-7628 if interested in participating in any of these programs or if you are a parish resident and would like to become a reserve deputy.
“St. Bernard needs everyone to pull together to remain a safe place to raise a family,” Borchers said. Borchers can also be called to organize a Neighborhood Watch group or sign up for the next free session he gives on “reuse to be a Victim,’’ which gives personal safety tips for residents in the parish or when they travel out of St. Bernard.
National Night Out Against Crime is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) and was introduced in 1984 to strengthen participation in local anti-crime efforts.
Last year’s National Night Out campaign involved more than 30 million nationally, including residents, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses and at military bases.
Sheriff’s Office investigating fight between students at Chalmette High but no one was injured or arrested
The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fight early Tuesday morning between some students at Chalmette High School but no one was injured or has been arrested, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
Also, contrary to reports on social media, the sheriff’s SWAT team wasn’t called out to the school, the school was never placed on lockdown and faculty members weren’t injured. No weapons were involved either.
Faculty members had the incident largely in control when sheriff’s Patrol Division units and sheriff’s detectives from the Juvenile Division arrived, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Children to have fun at Chalmette Home Depot Kids’ Safety Day on Sat., Oct. 5, 10 am to 2 pm, with Sheriff’s Office, Fire Dept., others to display items
Children of all ages, accompanied by parents or guardians, can participate in the free annual event, said Tammy Hentze, operations manager of the Home Depot store on West Judge Perez Drive in Chalmette.
“We’re looking for it to be bigger than ever,’’ Hentze said.
The session includes workshops where children are shown how to make things, face-painting and food and drink for them, supplied by several local businesses.
Also, the St. Bernard Parish school system is involved, with students from high school and middle school providing entertainment.
Special items will also be on display for children. Sheriff James Pohlmann said equipment including a robot used to check out suspicious items, a SWAT team truck, boats and other things will be provided by the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Parish Fire Department officials said they will bring trucks and a mobile safety house to show kids how to drop and roll on the floor to escape a burning building.
State Police and Homeland Security will also have demonstrations of equipment for kids and adults.
An antique car show will again be held in the parking lot.
Woman who worked at a fast-food restaurant and a man booked in a skimming operation which captured information from customers’ debit and credit cards; Involves numerous victims and thousands of dollars
A woman who worked a drive-through window at a Chalmette fast-food restaurant and a man she knows were booked Friday in a skimming operation which captured information from customers’ debit and credit cards, which was used to drain bank accounts, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
“It involves numerous victims and thousands of dollars’’ taken from bank accounts using the information that was placed on skimmers, which are small hand-held devices.
One skimmer was found in the arrested woman’s purse and a second one at the home of the arrested man when St. Bernard sheriff’s detectives located them, Sheriff Pohlmann said. The information leading to the arrests came from banks whose customers were defrauded and the restaurant which cooperated after being informed their employee was a suspect, he said.
Ashley Spears, 20, who was living with a relative on Juno Drive in Chalmette, and Frank Tate, 29, also living on Juno Drive, were arrested and booked into St. Bernard Parish Prison.
The sheriff said Spears, while working the drive-through window of the fast-food business, allegedly was using a skimmer she kept with her to capture customers’ information when they used credit or debit cards to pay for purchases.
Spears was booked with 29 counts of violating a state anti-skimming law which prohibits use of the devices to steal debit or credit information; with unauthorized use of access cards and with identity theft, all felonies.
Tate was booked with possession of a scanning device used for skimming debit or credit information from others and he still faces other possible charges as the investigation continues, Sheriff Pohlmnann said. Other suspects in the case are also under investigation, he said.
Sheriff Pohlmann said anyone who believes they may be a victim of credit or debit card fraudulent activity based on unauthorized charges should report it to their bank and law enforcement.
The U.S. Secret Service, which investigates such fraud, has been made aware of the case, the sheriff said.
Lt. Ray Whitfield is the 19th St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Deputy to graduate the prestigious FBI National Training Academy in Quantico, Va.
It had the same effect on Lt. Ray Whitfield of the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Whitfield recently became the 19th St. Bernard Parish deputy to be accepted into and graduate the prestigious FBI National Training Academy in Quantico, Va., participating in the 253rd session since it was established in 1935.
The FBI National Academy is a professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement leaders that serves to improve the administration of justice and promote personal and professional development of officers. Only ranking officers from a department are accepted. It is a 10-week course of study, combined with grueling physical training including running.
“Overall, it was a great experience,’’ said Whitfield, who started with the Sheriff’s Office in 1991 and has worked in the Patrol Division and as a detective in the Criminal Investigation Bureau.
“Every class you took offered something. And your goal is to take back something you can use in your job.’’
There were 218 members of the session, including 194 officers from American law enforcement agencies, three of whom were from Louisiana, including Whitfield and officers from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and Baton Rouge Police Department. Twenty-four others were from police agencies in other nations.
Whitfield said the experience was made better by the chance to see the visit to the training academy by dozens of children of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.
Many were 5-10 years old, although some were in their late teens, he said. “Each had on a T-shirt with a photo of the deceased parent,’’ whitfield said. “They line you up on both sides of the main building’’ to greet the survivors, he said. “When they are walking down the aisle you shake their hands and after a few pass you focus in on the fact each one has lost a parent who was a cop and died in the line of duty.”
Whitfield admitted it is emotional. “It gets to you. Automatically you see your own children’’ and think about them.”
Then the officers interact with the visitors, he said.
Sheriff James Pohlmann, who is among the department’s graduates of the FBI Training Academy, also attended a session when children of slain police visited and he describes it as heart-tugging for participants.
Whitfield said the survivors’ event is one of the things that make attending the training session so special, along with the classes of study and the people from other departments officers meet and get to know. It is a chance to hear from others, including the foreign officers, he said, and make contacts to talk with in the future.
“You compare stories’’ about law enforcement, some of which are very different from experiences you have had, Whitfield said.
“One man from Senegal was a police captain and we were talking about different crime investigations,’’ Whitfield said.
“He said that in Senegal they have to deal with sacrifices of animals or even human sacrifices for good luck.’’
“People may disappear during elections, for instance, and their bodies are later found and they have been killed for the purpose of bringing someone luck,’’ Whitfield said he was told.
“I’m like ‘this is unbelievable’ but he was talking about it happening,’’ Whitfield said.
“Whenever you think you’ve heard it all in police work,’’ he said, “someone tells a story like that and it’s crazy.’’
He said courses and visiting speakers make the sessions memorable.
“There was a homicide management course and a class concentrating on drug cartels and gangs,’’ Whitfield said, “and how leaders who are in prison run their crime networks using cryptic messages to get orders out.’’
“We heard from the Captain of the U.S.S. Cole (an American ship damaged by a terrorist attack, with heavy loss of life) and he gave an account of what happened,’’ Whitfield said. “We also heard from Bobby Smith, a Louisiana State Trooper who was shot in the face and blinded. He went on to get a Ph.D. and has toured the world. His story is amazing.’’
Sheriff Pohlmann said Whitfield was a worthy selection to attend the FBI training and also said that for a relatively small department like St. Bernard’s to have had 19 officers selected is a real compliment.
Two men arrested after a spree of incidents in Meraux of vandalism to vehicles and home mail boxes; Baseball bat believed used found in suspects’ car
Two St. Bernard Parish men were arrested for criminal damage to property and flight from officers after a spree of night-time incidents of vandalism to parked vehicles and home mail boxes, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
A metal baseball bat believed used by the suspects to smash property was found in the vehicle they were riding in, with the bat matching an impression made when a windshield on one vehicle was bashed, the sheriff said.
Jonathan Cross, 25, and Kory Mattox, 20, both of whom listed their address as 5648 E. St. Bernard Highway, were stopped at Bartolo Drive at East St. Bernard Highway in Meraux early Sunday morning, Sept. 15, after a brief chase by deputies who spotted them based on a description by witnesses of the car they were riding in, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Both were booked with criminal damage to property and flight from officers and were placed in St. Bernard Parish Prison. Mattox was released on bond, but the amount wasn’t available. Cross was being held in lieu of $4,500 bond.
Vandalism incidents were reported on Aramis Street, Judy Drive and Claiborne Street, all in Meraux.
Residents of several streets where the vandalism occurred said they saw two men in a gold-colored car stop, and one got out and damaged vehicles or mail boxes, then sped away.
Also, one resident of Aramis Street returned home Sept. 17 from a trip out of the parish and reported finding his mailbox knocked to the ground, the sheriff said.
“At least six incidents of vandalism were reported by residents”, the sheriff said.