A group of agents from the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division were among volunteers who put out American flags at Chalmette National Cemetery Friday for Memorial Day, A young boy is also shown placing a flag at a grave marker. Some 12,000 soldiers who died in the Civil War are buried at the cemetery.,.
Film director arrested as a fugitive from St. Bernard Parish on a 2003 arrest involving 34 pounds of marijuana
Rene Fabre apparently forgot he was a fugitive from St. Bernard Parish since 2003 on a charge involving 34 pounds of marijuana when he posted on social media about the screening in New Orleans of a low budget film he directed in 2013.
Someone saw the posting about the screening and tipped off narcotics officers in St. Bernard, who notified a U.S. Marshal’s Service Fugitive Task Force, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
Fabre, 42, who lives in New Orleans, was arrested by the Marshal’s Service May 20 and placed in the St. Bernard Parish Prison, where he is being held in lieu of bond set at $750,000.
The film being shown that led to Fabre’s arrest is named Duct Tape, a 2013 independent film Fabre directed. It is billed as a gritty look at 20-something year-old drug dealers on the streets of New Orleans. Fabre is also known for his work on the films Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), Terminator Genisys (2015) and Focus (2015).
Fabre had been living in Chalmette at the time he was arrested in March 2003. Along with 34 pounds of marijuana, some 3.5 grams of methamphetamine was seized in the arrest along with a half-dosage of methadone, the sheriff said.
Fabre missed court appearances on the charges, bench warrants were issued for his arrest but he wasn’t found at the time. Then Hurricane Katrina devastated St. Bernard Parish and Fabre was never arrested.
But the evidence in the case is still in custody and the charges remain, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Sheriff Pohlmann reminds everyone taking to the waters of St. Bernard to learn and obey the rules of boating safety, be on the lookout for other boats and always wear a life jacket
With summer fishing and boating about to go into high gear on St. Bernard Parish waterways, Sheriff James Pohlmann is reminding residents the chances for boating accidents and fatalities get higher with an increase in boaters.
“Be careful, slow down and learn and obey the rules of boating safety if you are going to be on the water,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.
“There will be a lot of boats out there, especially on holiday weekends like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. and you should think in terms of there will be another boat coming in every turn or canal crossing,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Going too fast to react to a situation is a common cause of boating accidents, he said. “Don’t speed and pay attention to your surroundings. Operate with caution.”
And it is absolutely important that everyone on board be wearing a personal flotation device, commonly called a life jacket, the sheriff said. “They are available at sporting goods stores or a department store. Everyone should be able to find one that fits.’’
While some people enjoy an alcohol drink it is important to refrain from overdrinking if you are going to be on a boat, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
People can be arrested for drinking and driving on a boat just like drivers of a vehicle on land, he said. And alcohol is a primary cause in nearly 25 percent of all fatal boating accidents nationally.
Statistics also show nearly 90 percent of the boating accidents recorded involve someone who hasn’t successfully completed a safe boating class, the sheriff said.
It is recommended that anyone operating a boat take a boating safety course. Just go online to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries web site and find the education section, which will have a boating safety course that is free.
For a list of state-approved safe boating courses visit: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses
Capt. Brian Clark, a retired state Wildlife and Fisheries agent, heads the Sheriff’s Office Marine Division.
Clark said safety on the water involves many things but foremost should be a standing rule that everyone on board a boat be wearing a personal flotation device. For more on state boating and life jacket regulations visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating
“It’s required that children 16 and under wear a flotation device at all times and recommended that adults wear them also,’’ Clark said. Drowning remains the biggest cause of fatalities on the water and a life jacket being worn will save lives, he said.
Some boaters used to resist them because they were bulky and made it hard to get around on a boat, Clark said, but the ones made today are lightweight and easy to use.
Before leaving on a trip, Clark said, give a float plan to someone. “Tell someone where you are going and when you are expected back’’ so if you are overdue they can inform authorities.
Besides flotation devices, other basic rules for safety include a check of equipment before taking off. Remember to bring items including a cell phone and cell phone charger, a fire extinguisher, a flashlight, proper clothing, enough food and water for a trip, a safety kit, sunglasses to guard against glare and a device that can be thrown to aid anyone who needs help in the water.
“Drink liquids. Don’t let yourself get dehydrated because the sun will take a lot out of you and slow reaction time,’’ Clark said.
And he said there is one other check-off: if you have a kill switch on the motor remember to use it if necessary.
Five wounded or injured military veterans were taken on a fishing trip and served a seafood lunch in St. Bernard Parish organized by numerous individuals and businesses and Sheriff James Pohlmann
Five wounded or injured military veterans were taken on a fishing trip and served a seafood lunch in St. Bernard Parish organized by numerous individuals and businesses and Sheriff James Pohlmann.
And for one of them – Ret. Army Maj. Barry Guidry of Lafayette – it was like a homecoming because he was in St. Bernard Parish with the Army just days after Hurricane Katrina for cleanup operations and stayed until May of the next year. Guidry also returned for the 10-year anniversary of the storm.
Guidry, one of the organizers of the event which ended with a lunch in Shell Beach, said the get-together had been planned for a long time and it was good to get everyone together.
“They did for us and we have to do for them,’’ Jimmy Corley, one of the sponsors, said of the trip and lunch for the military veterans.
In attendance besides Guidry, all Army veterans, were John Sanchez of San Antonio and three other Louisiana men, Randy Rushing of Breaux Bridge, Brian Marshall of Port Barry and Billy LaCost of Walker.
Guides for the trip were Casey Kieff, Sterling Cardone and Corley. Other sponsors were the Palms Restaurant and Charles Bienvenu, Chalmette Hardware, Campo’s Marina, Pat Pescey, Gerald’s Donuts, Dennis Pilet, Gulf Coast Bank. Ice House in Kenner and Sheriff James Pohlmann.
Parish President Guy McInnis attended and several sheriff’s deputies helped with the event.
Sheriff’s Office to have extra patrols from Monday, May 23 through Sunday June 5, writing citations to motorists not wearing seat belts; It is part of the “Click it or Ticket’’ national program to promote safety
Sheriff James Pohlmann is warning motorists to buckle up their seat belts or risk a citation because the Sheriff’s Office will have extra patrols from Monday, May 23 through Sunday June 5, writing citations to those not wearing them.
It is part of the “Click it or Ticket’’ campaign of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to promote safety.
“Motorists and passengers should always be buckled up in a vehicle,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “Otherwise you’re risking serious injury or death. You may not see an accident coming and in just that moment your life can be over because you didn’t put on your seat belt.’’
“We will have extra officers on the streets to enforce this seat belt policy and you may be one of the ones who get a citation if you don’t take notice,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.
The goal of the Click It or Ticket Mobilization is not to give out tickets, but rather to influence people to buckle up and prevent injuries and fatalities, national officials said. Not weafing them is the leading cause of death and disability for Americans between the ages of 4 and 34.
Research proves that the certainty of a ticket and costly fines often convinces people to Click It.
St. Bernard Special Olympics competitors join with sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and state Wildlife and Fisheries agents in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics
Kelli Plaiscia says her daughter, Brynn, 13, loves competing in the State Summer games for Special Olympics and the mother said she is proud sheriff’s deputies and others take part in the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Rum which raises money for Special Olympics.
“I think it’s wonderful’’ there is so much interest in taking part in the Torch Run and helping Special Olympics, said Plaiscia, whose husband, Mike, is a sheriff’s deputy in St. Bernard.
“I love the fact we do it here in St. Bernard,’’ she said.
Brynn was part of the start of the Torch Run on Friday along with about 20 other Special Olympics competitors from St. Bernard who ran a short distance at the start, then boarded a bus to Hammond to take part in the State Games the weekend of May 20-22.
About 40 St. Bernard sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and state Wildlife agents ran the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics on Chalmette streets, starting at the Courthouse and ending in Torres Park.
About $900 was raised in this year’s run for Special Olympics Louisiana and the State Summer Games, said Sgt. Jessica Gernados, who coordinates the run for the Sheriff’s Office.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics has been celebrated for more than 30 years. More than 2,000 law enforcement officers take part statewide.
Maj. Chad Clark wins prestigeous statewide Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Award for drug-fighting, given by the Order of Elks; It is named for federal agent murdered in 1985 while working in Mexico
Maj. Chad Clark, head of the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division, has been named statewide winner of the prestigious Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Award for drug-fighting for 2015-16 and he was 12th nationally.
The award was given by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in Louisiana. It is named for the federal agent kidnapped, tortured and murdered by a drug cartel in 1985 after stopping a huge marijuana growing operation on the Mexican border.
Red Ribbon Week, celebrated each October in school systems across the country including in St. Bernard Parish was originated in 1998 to honor the memory of Camarena, a U.S. Drug Enforcement agent assigned to fight drug trafficking in Mexico near the U.S. border.
Clark, a 23-year veteran on the Sheriff’s Office, “was hands down the winner in Louisiana,’’ said Armand Buuck, retired deputy chief of the St. Bernard Fire Department, who is Drug Awareness Chairman of Louisiana for the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Buuck, who lives in Chalmette, recently presented the award to Clark, saying he was also 12th nationally in the selection.
Buuck said the Enrique Camarena Award was established by the Elks to recognize and honor law enforcement officers who have made a significant contribution in the field of drug prevention and who personify Agent Camarena’s belief that one person can make a difference.
Clark said it was an honor to be given an award named for Camarena. “His story is an inspiraction to me. He wanted to do what was right – stop drugs – and was killed for it.’’
Clark also said the award he received “was a group effort by the men and women who work each day at the Sheriff’s Office to arrest drug-dealers and keep drugs out of St. Bernard.’’
“I want to remove drugs from our streets and attempt to take back what drugs have the potential to rob us of – our children.”
Sheriff James Pohlmann congratulated Clark, saying he deserves such an award. “I know his passion for fighting narcotics. And I know he does it for the kids of this parish’’
The sheriff added, ”His group (the Special Investigations Division) is doing a tremendous job on the streets of St. Bernard Parish.’’
Clark began his career as a patrol deputy and has worked his way up the ranks to become commander of the Special Investigations Division, which includes all narcotics and street crime investigations.
His group makes some 1,000 drug arrests each year.
In an unofficial capacity, Clark has often intervened on behalf of juveniles and young adults to offer guidance and get professional help to recover from the effects of drug use.
He has solicited private sponsors for numerous young people who fund a rehabilitation process for them.
Residents invited to come out Friday and cheer on St. Bernard sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and state and federal Wildlife agents in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics on Chalmette
Residents are invited to come out Friday and cheer on St. Bernard sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and state and federal Wildlife agents in the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics on Chalmette streets, starting about 10 a.m.
The run begins at the Courthouse on St. Bernard Highway and goes west to Jean Lafitte parkway, then north to Patricia Street and then left into Torres Park where it ends.
Some 40 sheriff’s deputies, Fire Department personnel and state and federal Wildlife agents took part last year, as well as parish Special Olympics participants.
More than $1,000 was raised in last year’s run for Special Olympics Louisiana and the State Summer Games being held in Hammond. It was the largest amount ever raised by the Law Enforcement Torch Run in the parish, said Sgt. Jessica Gernados, who coordinates the run for the Sheriff’s Office.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics has been celebrated for more than 30 years. More than 2,000 law enforcement officers take part statewide.
Sheriff’s Office held regional training class for the Community Emergency Response Team, to educate people about disaster preparedness; 36 attend
Rose Mary Gioia of Chalmette wanted to take the Community Emergency Response Team course being hosted by the Sheriff’s Office May 14-15 to learn about disaster preparedness and how to help people as a volunteer.
She said she enjoyed the “hands-on activities’’ involving basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
“I would recommend it for anyone who has a desire to help if the parish needs them’’ after a disaster or emergency situation, Gioia said.
The free two-day event held at the multi-purpose building in Val Riess Park in Chalmette drew 36 participants,
The Community Emergency Response Team, or C.E.R.T., is the modern version of the old Civil Defense, which had a long history of training volunteers to help out in local emergencies, including in times when the nation was at war,
C.E.R.T. is under the overall umbrella of U.S. Homeland Security and in St. Bernard Parish is sponsored in conjuncture with St. Bernard Parish government through a Homeland Security grant.
Sheriff James Pohlmann the program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that could impact their area.
Using the training learned in the classrooms and during exercises, C.E.R.T. members can assist others in their neighborhood or work places following an emergency event when professional responders aren’t immediately available to help.
Agencies involved in putting on the event included the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office, the St. Bernard Fire Department, the St. Bernard Port, the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office, the, St. Bernard Parish Hospital, Jefferson Sheriff’s Office and the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security.
About 300 fifth-graders graduate the D.A.R.E. anti-drug program for the Spring semester taught by sheriff’s deputies; Sheriff Pohlmann and Maj. Clark stress they must makes the right choices in life
About 300 fifth-graders in St. Bernard graduated the D.A.R.E. anti-drug program for the Spring semester, taught by sheriff’s deputies.
The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, taught in schools by program supervisor Lt. Lisa Jackson and Sgt. Darrin Miller is aimed at discouraging youngsters from using drugs including tobacco and alcohol or taking part in violence or bullying others.
More han 100 students graduated the program May 13 at Joseph Davies Elementary, about 80 graduated May 11 at Gauthier Elementary and more than 100 graduated May 4 at Lacoste Elementary.
Sheriff James Pohlmann and Maj. Chad Clark spoke to students and a large turnout of relatives at each school, telling the kids they must concentrate on making the right choices to have productive lives, including listening to their parents and teachers and deciding who they should and shouldn’t associate with.
The sheriff praised parents for coming out and encouraged them to continue staying focused on their children, including talking often with them and looking for warning signs to help prevent drug use or be alerted to them actually using drugs.
Educating children early on about the hazards of drug abuse is the best hope to reduce future use and a life tortured by drug addiction and criminal acts to support a drug habit, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
“How do you stop the crime problem,’’ the sheriff asked children and parents. “You’ve got to stop the drug problem,’’ he answered.
The sheriff said the parish jail is filled with people who are there because of drug problems, either because they were arrested with drugs or the need for money to buy drugs led them to get caught stealing or burglarizing, the sheriff said.
Both Sheriff Pohlmann and Maj. Clark said they are opposed to legalizing marijuana, as some have proposed, saying it will only lead to more young people using it. Marijuana remains he mos abused drug in the nation, they said,
Maj. Clark quoted statistics that vehicular fatalities have surged in Washington state since marijuana was legalized for use there, apparently caused by more people driving impaired.
Learn the warning signs of drug use in young people, Sheriff Pohlmann said to parents, including:
– Loss of interest in things they used to do such as sports, dance or reading.
– Hanging around with new groups of friends unknown to parents.
– Sudden changes in attitude, mood swings or type of clothing worn.
– Sudden problems connected with school and academics.
Talk regularly with your children and be familiar with their friends, the sheriff said.
Maj. Clark, commander of the Special Investigations Division including the Narcotics Unit, said it takes the kind of education effort given by Sheriff’s Office drug resistance instructors at parish schools to affect the drug problem in America as well as solid law enforcement to stop drug dealers.
Clark said overdose deaths have been going down in the parish, with three in the last 18 months compared to 12 in the year before that. A combination of factors led to that including law enforcement diligence, education and efforts by paramedics to save lives, Clark said.
The resurgence of the killer drug heroin is concerning law enforcement and health care officials nationwide as young people are increasing their use of the drug, he said.
But Clark also pledged to parents narcotics officers will continue to do their best to rid the parish of drug-dealers.