News Releases - June 2013 Archived News Releases          

 

Three pounds of high-grade marijuana worth $17,500 and a loaded handgun were seized in an apartment and a couple arrested

Walter Andrews Jammie Lee Bastine
The three pounds of high- grade marijuana and loaded gun seized

June 28, 2013 - Three pounds of high-grade marijuana worth $17,500 and a loaded handgun were found in a Chalmette apartment and a couple was arrested, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Sheriff’s narcotics agents had received information about the drug operation and after an investigation obtained a search warrant for their Chalmette residence, where the marijuana, loaded gun and drug paraphernalia including scales and packing material were found, the sheriff said.

But the fact that no cash was recovered, which would usually be expected to be present when such expensive marijuana is being sold, is puzzling to sheriff’s narcotics officers, who are looking for more information, said Maj. Chad Clark, commander of Special Investigations Division. Agents are seeking more information on the two and any associates.

Walter J. Andrews, 53, and Jammie Lee Bastine, 26, who both lived at 3409 Golden Drive, Apt. A, were booked with possession with intent to distribute three pounds of marijuana, possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of the drugs in the presence of a juvenile and the drug paraphernalia count.

When officers arrived to execute a search warrant they found Andrews outside and he had a quantity of marijuana he apparently was preparing to bring to a buyer, officials said.

Andrews and Bastine were booked into St. Bernard Parish Prison on June 21 but the arrests weren’t revealed until now. Both Andrews and Bastine have since been released from jail on bonds of $40,000 each.

Bastine’s young son was released afterward to the custody of a relative.

Anyone with more information about the two or information about subjects who were part of their operation should call the Sheriff’s Office at 271-2501, the sheriff’s Drug Hotline at 271-DOPE or Crimestoppers at 822-1111.

Anyone who suspects other drug activity in St. Bernard should call the 271-DOPE hotline to anonymously report it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Parish businesses can call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 278-7628 to receive a No Loitering sign to help deal with problems with non-customers loitering outside

Sheriff James Pohlmann and the owner and staff of a Chalmette business, Chill Berry in the Chalmette Cinema Mall, are shown with the new No Loitering signs the Sheriff's Offics is making available to business operators, who can call 278-7628 if they want one. Shown from left are the sheriff, Dawn Menesses who with her husband Ralph Menesses owns Chill Berry, store workers holding the sign Dakota Menesses and Sabrina Minter, and Lt. Billy Cure of the sheriff's Business watch program.

June 27, 2013 - St. Bernard Parish business operators are invited to call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 278-7628 to receive a No Loitering sign to help deal with any problems with non-customers loitering outside, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

“This is a tool businesses can use for loitering problems to remind the public that there are ordinances in place from parish government that deal with loitering and the Sheriff’s Office is enforcing those laws,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.

“With summer comes the fact schools are closed and more teen-agers are out and about, some of whom may loiter outside businesses, creating a problem for business operators,’’ the sheriff said. “Putting a sign at your business reminding people of the No Loitering law may help curb that.’’

The No Loitering campaign is a part of the sheriff’s Business Watch program, which comes under the Community Relations Division headed by Capt. Charles Borchers.

Call Capt. Borchers at 278-7628 for a No Loitering Sign, or to register your residential area for the sheriff’s Neighborhood Watch program or if you would like information on the next free Citizens Police Academy classes which will begin some time in late August.

Lt. Billy Cure, who handles the Business Watch program, can be reached through Capt. Borchers’ number.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Woman arrested in St. Bernard Parish as accessory in 2006 murders in Tulsa, Okla., waives extradition fight and will be transferred for prosecution

Jacqueline O. Smith, being held in St. Bernard Parish, wanted as accessory in two murders in Tulsa

June 27, 2013 - A woman arrested in St. Bernard Parish as an accessory in a 2006 double murder in Tulsa, Okla., has waived an extradition fight and will be transferred for prosecution.

Jacqueline Octavia Smith, 36, was arrested Tuesday afternoon at a residence where she had been living in Violet, in eastern St. Bernard, taken into custody without incident by a U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force. The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office has a deputy who is a member of the task force.

She waived extradition in a court proceeding in Chalmette on Wednesday and remains in St. Bernard Parish Prison awaiting transfer to Tulsa for prosecution. There was no information on how long Smith had been living on Angelique Drive in Violet, where she was arrested.

Smith was named Monday as an accessory to a Jan. 4. 2006, double slaying in Tulsa in which Linda Louise Wright, 45, and Dorothy Lindley, 60, were stabbed to death in an apartment. Oklahoma authorities said the murders had a “drug-related component.’’

Hilliard A. Fulgham II, 44, currently incarcerated in a prison in Louisville, Miss., and serving a seven-year sentence for a burglary conviction, was charged Monday in Tula with two counts of first-degree murder. Court documents alleged Smith helped Fulgham by concealing evidence and securing his transportation and flight out of Oklahoma, media outlets in Tulsa reported.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Chalmete-Algiers ferry was closed four hours because of an overturned 18-wheel truck leaking caustic soda, a corrosive material being delivered to the Exxon Mobil/Chalmette Refinery

An 18-wheel truck was overtuned Wednesday into a ditch along the eastern side of the section of Paris Road that leads from St. Bernard Highway to the Mississippi River when its driver was trying to deliver a load of caustic soda to the exxon Mobil/Chalmette Refinery, causing a leak. The Chalmette-lower Algiers ferry was closed for four hours before the truck was righted and the road re-opened.
A St. Bernard firefighter places sandbags in the ditch as a precaution in case its water was contaminated by the leaking chemical from the truck, which can be seen in the background.

June 26, 2013 - The ferry between Chalmette and lower Algiers was closed four hours on Wednesday because of an overturned 18-wheel truck leaking caustic soda, a corrosive material being delivered to the Exxon Mobil/Chalmette Refinery, officials from the parish Fire Department and Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

A truck driver, Kendell Robinson, 23, of Baton Rouge, trying to deliver the chemicals to the refinery went into a drainage ditch on the east side of the section of Paris Road between St. Bernard Highway and the Mississipi River, the sheriff said. The ferry is at the end of that road.

Robinson, issued a citation for careless operation of a vehicle, wasn’t injure. But the overturned tanker had a small leak, which the Fire Department tried to contain from going into the drainage ditch, Parish Fire Chief Thomas Stone confirmed.

State Police and an environmental clean-up crew were at the scene, as well trucks and personel to right the 18-wheeler.

The Sheriff’s Office, as well as blocking traffic from St. Bernard Highway to the river, also sent prison work crews with sandbags that were used by firefighters to dam the water in the ditch.

The ferry was closed from about 11:15 a.m. until the road was reopened about 3:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meraux man booked with carnal knowledge of a juvenile teen girl and with extortion for trying to force her to continue their relationship by threats to post a videotape of them to the Internet

John Johnson Jr., of Meraux, booked with carrnal knowledge of a juvenile and extortion

June 26, 2013 - In an unusual case, a Meraux man was booked with carnal knowledge of a juvenile teen-age girl he met on a social networking site and with extortion for trying to force her to continue their relationship by threatening to post a videotape of them to the Internet, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

John Johnson Jr., 21, was arrested June 21 after the Violet girl told her mother of the threat and they called the Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

The teen, interviewed the next day by detectives from the Juvenile Division, said she wanted to end their relationship but Johnson claimed he had made a video of them having sex and said he would post it to the Internet if she broke up with him.

Johnson admitted to Det. Sgt. Anthony Bruscato the couple had sexual relations earlier this year after they met online last year on a social networking site and began a relationship, the sheriff said.

He also said no sex video existed but admitted he told her that to scare her so she wouldn’t break up with him.

Johnson was booked on two counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile for their sex acts and with extortion for his attempt to continue the relationship through the threat to post a video he said he had, the sheriff said.

He is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison in lieu of $75,000 bond.

Sheriff Pohlmann said the case highlights the need for parents to try to monitor their under-age juveniles’ use of social networking sites and relationships they form with people they know only through contact on the Internet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Woman arrested in St. Bernard Parish on Tuesday is wanted in Tulsa, Okla., as accessory in 2006 murders; Will go before a judge for extradition proceedings

June 25, 2013 -A woman named Monday as an accessory to a 2006 double slaying in Tulsa, Okla., was arrested at a house in Violet in St. Bernard Parish on Tuesday afternoon and will go before a judge to begin extradition proceedings to be taken back for prosecution, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Jacqueline Octavia Smith, 36, was arrested about 1:30 p.m. by a U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, of which the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office has a sheriff’s deputy as a member.

Smith was taken into custody without incident at 3408 Angelique Drive, where she apparently has been living, sheriff Pohlmann said.

There wasn’t any information available on how long she has been there. Smith is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison and will go before a magistrate on Wednesday, the first step in an extradition process to have her taken back to Oklahoma for prosecution.

Smith and Hilliard A. Fulgham II, 44, were charged Monday in Tulsa in the Jan. 4, 2006, stabbing deaths of Linda Louise Wright, 45, and Dorothy Lindley, 60, which Oklahoma authorities said had a “drug-related component.’’

Wright and Lindley were found dead inside a second-story apartment.

Fulgham, currently incarcerated in Choctaw County Regional Correctional Facility in Louisville, Miss., was charged Monday with two counts of first-degree murder. Smith was charged with two counts of being an accessory to the murders. Court documents allege she helped Fulgham by concealing evidence and securing his transportation and flight out of Oklahoma, media outlets in Tulsa reported.

Reports said authorities haven’t revealed what broke the case open, though police said Tuesday they received a tip in 2009 that was "instrumental" in leading detectives to Fulgham. He is now serving a seven-year sentence for a second-degree burglary conviction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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S.O. trying to identify man who used a stolen debit card at several businesses; Call (504) 271-2501

June 24, 2013 -The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office is trying to identify the man shown in store surveillance system photos, who used a stolen debit card to make hundreds of dollars in purchases recently at St. Bernard Parish businesses, Sheriff James Pohlmann said. He is wanted for unauthorized use of an acess card. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff's Office at (504) 271-2501

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Arrest ot four men in an apartment burglary made only minutes after a call to S.O.; Man arrested separately in two other home burglaries and attempts

Chad Melerine, booked in one home burglary and an attempted burglary Leroy Tait, booked with burglary in Chalmette

June 24, 2013 - A group of four men were booked with a Chalmette apartment burglary only minutes after the Sheriff’s Office was called by a witness, Sheriff James Pohlmann said, and separately a man was booked in two other home burglaries and attempts.

The four, all from New Orleans, had stolen a large television from an apartment on Golden Drive on June 18 but a witness saw them leaving and immediately called the Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

When deputies arrived, the witness pointed out their vehicles heading away from the scene, in a truck and a car, and they were taken into custody shortly afterward.

Three of the men said a man named Leroy Tait, 38, 1619 Clio St., who was among the four arrested, had offered them money to help him move items from what he said was his residence.

The three said they saw Tait force his way into the apartment on Golden Drive and steal a television.

Tait denied any involvement.

All four, Tait, Jerry Connor, 34, 1232 S. Saratoga St.; Charles Jackson, 67, 2105 Talia St.; and James Young, 56, 2550 Cable Dive, were all booked with simple burglary and placed in St. Bernard Parish Prison.

Tait is jailed in lieu of $33,000 bond. Bond information wasn’t available for the other three.

In an unrelated arrest, Chad Melerine, 35, 2516 Marietta Drive, Chalmette, was booked June 13 with simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling and attempted simple burglary of a second residence, with the two incidents happening the same night.

Melerine, who has prior arrests including burglary, is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison in lieu of $60,000 bond set in his case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sheriff’s Office ready for hurricane season, with a new high-water truck, tested boats and 50,000 sandbags: Residents urged to have personal evacuation plan

The truck, which has 4-wheel drive, a 37-inch lift and air brakes, is large enough to go into high water for rescue operations and haul personnel and equipment. The Sheriff's Office new high-water truck for rescue and moving personnel and equipment, is shown at the Verret floodgate on La. 46 Ext. in eastern St. Bernard Parish. From left are Sheriff James Pohlmann, Capt. Bret Bowen, who heads the equipment division, and Maj. Mark Poche, head of Special Operations.
Sheriff's Dep. Brian Cadzow, left, helps trusty prisoners make sandbags in preparation for hurricane season. Some 50,000 sandbags are stockpiled for use if needed.

June 21, 2013 - With hurricane season underway, the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office has a new weapon: a high-water truck bought with a federal grant and would be ideal for rescue or to haul personnel or equipment to respond to rain events, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Combine that with 50,000 sandbags already made for use by residents, businesses or government to help block street flooding – as well as tested boats at the ready - the Sheriff’s Office is prepared for hurricane season, the sheriff said.

“With this parish having taken an enormous hit from Hurricane Katrina eight yars ago, we intend to always be prepared for hurricane season,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “The parish was tested again last year with Hurricane Isaac and I believe we did our best and came through it relatively well. Parish agencies worked well together.’’

Getting ready in advance is the most important thing, the sheriff said. “That’s true for every family in this parish,’’ he said.

“Don’t wait until you hear a bad storm is approaching before you think about being prepared, such as whether or where you would go, if necessary,’’ he said. “If you start to be prepared now, you avoid the rush at home supply stores and supermarkets which always get crowded and run out of things as hurricanes or tropical storms approach. Don’t wait until the last minute.”

“Give this some thought when you have a chance,’’ the sheriff said. “Have things like flashlights and batteries, bottled water, medicines in places where you can easily find them if leaving becomes necessary.

“Stock up if possible on things you would need to take if you left or need if you stayed in a storm and lost electricity for more than a day. Keep personal papers handy that you would want to have.

“Also, anticipate the needs of older relatives and decide what you would do with pets if you had to leave. It should be almost automatic for you by now to think of these things come summer, if you have lived in this area most of your life.’’

As for the Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Pohlmann said, besides boats and equipment being tested, plans are in place to move prisoners if necessary. Departments within the Sheriff’s Office have a hurricane plan to follow.

Parish prisoners, using a system developed years ago, make sandbags in preparation for summer, Sheriff Pohlmann said. There are now 50,000 of them stored.

The new custom-built F-650 truck, which has a 37-inch lift and air brakes, is an important addition in time for hurricane season, the sheriff said. “It’s meant for high-water situations’’ such as street flooding from heavy rains and could be used for rescue and moving personnel and equipment to where they are needed.

Also, members of the sheriff’s SWAT team train on various types of boats from the sheriff’s Marine Division in order to be prepared to immediately patrol neighborhoods in case of any type of rain event flooding.

“If parish government orders an evacuation of residents in any approaching storm we will facilitate that and then lock down the parish to prevent non-residents from entering,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.

In the event of an ordered evacuation, he said he hopes residents would comply as they did in 2008 in the last time it was necessary because it would reduce the need for search and rescue operations if there was actual flooding in a storm, he said.

In an evacuation, the Sheriff’s Office “would quickly return to law enforcement functions, including patrol by boats if necessary, to protect property in the parish,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “We don’t want residents making a bad decision to stay simply out of concern over a possible burglary.’’

He said St. Bernard residents with special needs in the event of an evacuation should register with parish government’s Office of Homeland Security by calling (504) 278-4268 or 278-4468.

Residents can also register for the parish’s FirstCall Emergency Notification Service which provides timely information about hurricanes and other high profile events occurring in the area. These alerts will go to landlines, cell phones, SMS text messaging devices, email and pagers. Residents can now register on line at www.sbpg.net at the bottom of the page.

Early forecasts anticipate this year’s hurricane season, which began June 1 and lasts through Nov. 30, will be active.

The sheriff added, “Remember, we are so close to the Gulf of Mexico you can’t ignore hurricane season and must prepare yourself.”

If told to evacuate, make sure you have some cash to hold you over for a time.

Take with you several complete changes of clothing and footwear per person and remember family members with special needs such as infants, elderly and disabled persons and pets.

Your disaster preparation list should also include:

• Can opener
• Three-day supply of non-perishable food
• Bedding or sleeping bags
• Fire extinguisher (small canister ABC type)
• Bleach (no lemon or other additives)
• Mosquito repellent
• First Aid kit
• Water (one gallon per person per day)
• Eating utensils
• Tarp, rope, and duct tape
• Toiletries including toilet paper
• Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
• Flashlights
• Sunglasses

For Baby —Formula, diapers, wipes bottles, powdered milk and medications. For Adults —Medicine, such as heart and high blood pressure medication, insulin, prescription drugs, denture needs, contact lenses and supplies and extra eye glasses.

For Pets—ID tag, photo of pet for identification purposes, weeks supply of food, medications, veterinarian’s phone number. Do not leave your pet behind. Transport pets in secure pet carriers and keep pets on leashes. Most emergency shelters do not admit pets. Check with hotels in safe locations and ask if you can bring your pet.

Entertainment —Books for adult readers and for children, board games and/or other games that do not require batteries or electricity.

Remember to keep important records in a waterproof, portable container, including:

- Inventory of valuable household goods and important telephone numbers.
- Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
- Important papers including insurance account numbers, checks and credit cards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Man arrested in Chalmette was wanted in a N.O. drive-by shooting Tuesday night in which 3 people were injured in Hollygrove; He has been transferred to N.O.

 

June 20, 2013 - A man arrested in Chalmette was wanted in a New Orleans drive-by shooting Tuesday evening in which three people were injured in Hollygrove, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Jerrold Smith, 33, has been transferred to jail in New Orleans after his arrest early Wednesday morning at the home of a friend who lived in the Woodlands Apartments, 7900 Patricia St., Chalmette.

It was the friend who called the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday and reported that Smith, who he had learned was wanted, was at the apartment, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

The man who called said he had advised Smith to turn himself in and Smith was still there when deputies arrived, the sheriff said.

New Orleans police took custody of Smith on Wednesday, when he was transferred to jail in New Orleans.

The man who lived at the apartment in Chalmette allowed sheriff’s deputies to search his residence, where a Glock magazine containing bullets was found in a bedroom.

Smith, when arrested, listed his address as 920 Green St., New Orleans, but he had clothing at the friend’s apartment and appeared to be living there, authorities said.

Three men were shot in Hollygrove on Tuesday evening, according to New Orleans police, in what witnesses described as a drive-by shooting.

New Orleans authorities didn’t release information about the three victims but news reports said one man was struck in a knee and in the torso and another man was shot in the buttocks.

Witnesses also told the media there appeared to be two men in the vehicle from which the shots were fired Tuesday evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Man arrested who was sought in Chalmette meth operation; His wife and another woman were already in custody

 

June 20, 2013 - UPDATE - A 26-year-old Chalmette man sought since Wednesday in a meth operation found at his house was arrested Thursday after the Sheriff's Office received information on him, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Dino Huy Jr., 14 West Chalmette Circle, just north of West St. Bernard Highway, was found in Chalmette by Narcotics Unit officers. Huy was already on probation in St, Tammany Parish for possession of amphetamine, authorities said.

His wife, Melissa Huy, 38, and another woman, Rachel Butler, 34, who lives on Mumphrey Road in Chalmette, were arrested Wednesday evening at the Huy residence.

Sheriff's narcotics agents had received information that meth might be being made at the Huy house and the couple's three young children might be in danger, the Sheri said.

Agents, assisted by the Parish Fire Department which supplied the water to decontaminate everyone in the house in a makeshift tent set up, initially found the women and children there.

Bottles and ingredients for making meth were located in a shed behind the house.

The home was later searched and a small amount of meth was seized, Sheriff Pohlmann said. It was described as a small meth operation.

Both of the Huys and Butler have been booked with operating a meth lab, possession of meth and child endangerment.

The husband and wife were additionally both booked with manufacture of meth.

The children, two girls 5 months old and 7 years old, and a 4- year-boy, were all examined at Children's Hospital and later released to family relatives.

Pending the outcome of tests on the kids, the three suspects could face further charges, authorities said.

Melissa Huy was being held in St. Bernard Prison in lieu of $350,000 bond, while Butler was held in lieu of $175,000 bond.

No bond has been set for Dino Huy Jr..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sheriff’s narcotics agents break up small meth lab behind Chalmette house; 2 women arrested and a man sought; Three young children were decontaminated

Suspects Rachel Butler, in foreground, and Melissa Huy, in background, both of Chalmette, are handcuffed and sitting on the ground outside Huy’s home after their arrests late Wednesday afternoon. St. Bernard firefighters put up a makeshift tent and provided water to decontaminate children and the suspects involved in the meth lab operation.
Narcotics Agent Daniel Bostic talks with the suspects on the ground, Rachel Butler in the foreground and Melissa Huy in the background. Cpl. Jessica Gernados of the St. Bernard sheriff’s Narcotics Unit puts on a decontamination suit, aided by a parish firefighter, as she prepares to decontaminate three young children who lived in a Chalmette house where a small meth lab was operating in a shed behind the home, authorities said.

June 19, 2013 - Two women were arrested and one’s husband is sought after St. Bernard Parish narcotics agents broke up a small meth lab behind a Chalmette house late Wednesday afternoon, acting on information that three young children in the house could be in danger, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Two girls, one an infant 5 months-old and the other 7 years-old, and a 4-year-old boy, lived with their mother and her husband at the house at 14 West Chalmette Circle, just off St. Bernard Highway across from the port of St. Bernard office building, the sheriff said.

All three children were decontaminated as a precaution, in a makeshift tent set up outside by St. Bernard firefighters, then were to be taken to Children’s Hospital for examination.

Arrested about 5 p.m. were Melissa Huy, 38, mother of the children, who lived at the house with her husband, Dino Huy Jr., 26. Also arrested was Rachel Butler, 34, 2817 Mumphrey Road, Chalmette, who was in the house, Sheriff Pohlomann said. Both will be booked with manufacture of methamphetamine and endangerment of juveniles.

Dino Huy wasn’t home and is being sought on the same counts, the sheriff said. Narcotics agent spoke with the husband by cell phone but he hadn’t surrendered by Wednesday evening and a warrant for his arrest will be sought, authorities said. They said Dino Huy is currently on probation from St. Tammany Parish for possession of amphetamine.

The two women were also to be decontaminated as a precaution before they can be brought into St. Bernard Prison to be booked.

Narcotics agents, commanded by Major Chad Clark, had received information that meth might be being made at the residence and the children there could be in danger.

Officers found bottles and ingredients for making meth in a shed behind the house and described it as a small meth operation, the sheriff said.

He said sheriff’s officials believe meth was being made and used and the house will be searched Wednesday night with the help of a meth team from the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration is sending a clean-up crew for the house, the sheriff said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New 35-ft. patrol boat to be operated by St. Bernard Port and the Sheriff’s Office; Can scan 50 feet and is useful for searching water bottoms, sea walls and ship hulls for contraband and for rescue or recovery efforts

Sheriff James Pohlmann aboard the new patrol boat, with Deputy Sheriff Shane Lulei, one of several sheriff's personnel who are trained to operated the vessel and its scanning system.
Sheriff Pohlmann on the new patrol boat.

June 14, 2013 - St. Bernard Parish’s Port, Harbor & Terminal District has purchased a 35-foot patrol boat through federal Port Security grant funds, in a move which enhances capabilities for search, rescue or recovery efforts by the Port and the Sheriff’s Office, which will jointly operate it through a cooperative agreement.

Port Executive Director Dr. Robert Scafidel and Sheriff James Pohlmann announced the agreement in which sheriff’s deputies have been trained to operate the vessel, along with Port staff.

A big feature is a sonar scanning camera and software, which provides the better capability for search, rescue or recovery by the Port and the Sheriff’s Office, Scafidel and Sheriff Pohlmann said.

The vessel, which is eight-feet wide and weighs 12,000 pounds, can scan distances more than 50 feet and would be useful on water bottoms, ship hulls and docks, officials said.

Built in Louisiana and ready for operation, it cost about $325,000, funded at 75 percent by the federal grant program and with a 25 percent match from the state of Louisiana. The Port, Harbor & Terminal District has a 5-member board of commissioners which approved the project.

“This helps both of our agencies, the Sheriff’s Office and the Port, protect citizens of St. Bernard Parish,’’ said Scafidel. “We had the opportunity to get this capability to operate on the Mississippi River and are very pleased with it.’’

Scafidel added, “We approached Sheriff Pohlmann about a cooperative agreement between us because we thought it was something the sheriff could use.

“Its main purpose is to help cover the river but it would be useful in other bodies of water,’’ he said.

Sheriff Pohlmann said, “I appreciate the cooperative agreement offer from the Port,” because use of the boat and its scanning capability “could be invaluable in situations including a search after an accident on water or looking for submerged threats.’’

The craft is powered by twin 350 Yamaha outboard motors and has water-cooled air-conditioning and generator systems. It can reach a speed of up to 40 knots and has a 30-foot draft.

Capt. Brian Clark, head of the sheriff’s Marine Division, and Dep. Sheriff Shane Lulei have been trained in operation of the vessel and scanning system, Sheriff Pohlmann said. Ryan Fayard and Heath Ragas of St. Bernard Port trained on the scanning equipment along with Clark and Lulei.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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St. Bernard residents can get extra sheriff’s patrols at their home while on vacation; Call (504) 278-7763 or 271-2501; Vacation crime prevention tips listed

June 12, 2013 - Before going on vacation or leaving for business, St. Bernard Parish residents should call the Sheriff’s Office and get on the list to have extra passes made at their home by patrol deputies, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

“When thinking about the last-minute things you have to do before leaving, remember to call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 278-7763 or 271-2501 and get on the extra patrol list,” Sheriff Pohlmann said.

He added, “That information is kept confidential’’ and revealed only to the officers assigned to patrol the section where the caller lives.

The sheriff said residents should also leave a contact number with the Sheriff’s Office so a patrol deputy can call them if there is something wrong at a home, including non crime-related matters such as damage from a wind or rain storm. St. Bernard has fewer residents than before Hurricane Katrina eight years ago, meaning there are fewer eyes on the streets in some neighborhoods to watch for suspicious actions, Sheriff Pohlmann said. “That makes signing up for the extra patrols at your home more valuable now.’’

Capt. Charles Borchers, head of Community Relations for the Sheriff’s Office including the Neighborhood Watch program, said the extra pass list has been used effectively for years and helps residents be assured their homes will have some extra protection while they are away.

Also, St. Bernard residents interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch group in their area can call Borchers at (504) 278-7628.

Borchers said residents should consider the following crime prevention tips before leaving their home for trips:

• Lock up. While this might seem obvious, some people forget to lock their house completely while rushing to get away. Make sure all doors and windows are locked.

• Be careful who you tell that you plan to be away from your home. However, ask someone you trust to watch for anything unusual. Also, never leave a message on a phone voice mail system saying you are out of town because any caller would learn your house may be vulnerable.

• Do whatever possible to create the appearance someone is home. Keep a vehicle in the driveway or out front of your residence. Maintain your lawn before you leave or have someone you trust mow your lawn while you are gone.

• Put outdoor lighting on either timers, light-sensitive photocell mechanisms, or motion detectors. Use timers to activate inside lighting, radios, or TVs. Use the new fluorescent (cfl) light bulbs because they burn cooler than the standard light bulbs.

• Don’t let deliveries accumulate. If possible, ask someone you know to pick up mail, newspapers, packages and any circulars placed on your front door. Stop delivery of any newspaper if you can so they don’t pile up.

• Don't leave keys under your doormat, flower pots or window ledges—intruders check these first.

• Keep shrubbery trimmed. Thick shrubbery and trees cover your windows, allowing burglars to work undetected.

• If you have a security system, ensure it is armed and provide instructions to the central monitoring station, - if you have one - to call your cell phone, the Sheriff’s Office and/or a particular friend, relative or neighbor if there is a problem.

• If your area has a Neighborhood Watch program inform officials about your vacation plans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Woman who binge-shoplifted in three Chalmette stores caught while trying to make it four: $393 of stolen items recovered; Also, couple arrested in a burglary where a credit card was stolen and used

No. 002: Amanda Chanson, caught after 4-store shoplifting binge in Chalmette No. 003: Crystal Nunez, booked with burglary in Violet

June 11, 2013 - A Violet woman who binge-shoplifted Monday, June 10, from three stores in the same Chalmette shopping center was caught by a sheriff’s deputy while trying to make it four, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Amanda Chanson, 33, 1954 Licciardi Lane, was booked with theft of goods from four stores and is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison in lieu of $10,000 bond.

Stolen items worth a total of $393 were recovered from four stores.

Dep. Gary Noriea, sent to 8400 West Judge Judge Drive to investigate reported shoplifted about 2 p.m., found Chanson, fitting the description of the reported shoplifter. She was in a dollar store, sitting on the floor and placing an opened pack of cigarette lighters in her purse, the sheriff said.

The woman also had a white plastic bag with items inside, all in a large purse, a sheriff’s report of the incident said.

When she gave consent to a search of the bag, the deputy found numerous things from three other stores located in the same shopping center, mostly jewelry and clothing items.

When asked about receipts, Chanson said she had none and admitted she stole the items, the sheriff said.

Officials at three other stores in the same shopping center said the same woman was seen in their stores concealing items and one had called the Sheriff’s Office.

In an unrelated matter, a Violet couple was booked June 4 with unauthorized use of a credit card taken in a recent vehicle burglary and the woman was also booked with that burglary, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

Crystal Nunez, 31, and Ralph Topey, 31, both of 2325 General Pershing Drive, were arrested after admitting their involvement after an investigation by Det. Sgt. Donald Johnson.

They were together May 18 when Nunez entered an unlocked vehicle in Violet and took a credit card from a wallet inside, the sheriff said.

Then they both tried to use the stolen credit card the same day at a gas station where they met a man who agreed to give them cash if they used the card to buy gasoline for him. But the card wasn’t accepted at the pump and they left after Nunez argued with an employee about the card not working.

Also on May 18, the stolen card was accepted at a different gasoline station pump and was used to buy $60 of gas.

Nunez, booked with burglary and unauthorized use of an access card, is jailed in lieu of $12,000 bond. Topey, booked on the access card count, has been released on $10,000 bond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sheriff’s Office holding SWAT training exercises in St. Bernard Parish schools

Officers burst into a room to check it during an exercise. Officers prepare to enter a school hallway.
Det. Sgt. Donald Johnson, left, and Dep. Sheriff Jason Spadoni are about to bring mobile shields into the school for use in the training. Sheriff’s SWAT team members climb a stairwell as they train at Lynn Oaks School in eastern St. Bernard.

June 10, 2013 - Using the summer break, the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office has begun SWAT team training exercises in schools to familiarize themselves with the layout of buildings and practice tactics, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

“In today’s environment, it’s crucial to be prepared for anything,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said, “and the best way to do that is to train, in this case walk through the schools. You hope you never have to deal with the kind of incidents that have happened in some parts of the country.’’

Many schools in St. Bernard Parish have been entirely rebuilt since Hurricame Katrina and officers need to familiarize themselves with new layouts, the sheriff said.

“The summer break, with schools closed, is a good time to do this,’’ he said. Maj. Robert McNab, commander of the Criminal Investigations Bureau, heads the SWAT team.

As well as the SWAT training, numerous St. Bernard deputies from all divisions have attended active-shooter training exercises covering various types of situations, the sheriff emphasized.

Both public and private schools would be involved in the SWAT training.

Training in public schools would be in coordination with Superintendent of Schools Doris Voitier’s office.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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S.O. seeks I.D on SUV seen in area and at same time of a spree which caused $5,000 damage to 7 parked cars in Buccaneer North area of Chalmette early June 4; Call 271-2501

SBSO trying to identify this SUV seen at 4 a.m. in same area where $5,000 damage done to 7 cars in Chalmette.

June 07, 2013 - Home surveillance cameras have yielded a photo of an SUV in the immediate area and at the same time when a spree of damage totaling some $5,000 was done to 7 parked vehicles in the Buccaneer North area of Chalmette early June 4, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Anyone in the light-colored SUV shown on Evangeline Drive at 4 a.m. Tuesday may either have seen suspicious activity or took part in the crimes, the sheriff said. Sheriff’s detectives would like to question them on whether they noticed anything unusual. Anyone with information should call SBSO at (504) 271-2501.

One or more people threw ceramic items and bricks, all stolen from the lawns of two homes in the area, and broke front or back windshields of vehicles on several streets about 4 a.m. and caused other damage.

One still photo was obtained from a video on a home camera system on Evangeline Drive and that one and another one on Kings Drive have video that are being enhanced to reveal more about the SUV, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

He said the damage amounts to $5,000 and anyone involved would face when caught felony charges of criminal damage to property as well as theft for the items taken that were thrown at the vehicles.

“These were pointless crimes of opportunity,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said, adding the only aim seemed to be to vandalize the parked vehicles. Nothing apparently was stolen in the incidents.

Maybe it was young people who didn’t realize the severity of what they were doing or someone who didn’t care, the sheriff said.

The sheriff is asking for the public’s help in identifying anyone involved in the incidents or someone who may have been in the SUV. Call the Sheriff’s Office at 271-2501 or call Det. Sgt. Anthony Bruscato, who is handling the case, at 277-7755.

Vehicles were damaged on Kings Drive, Imperial drive, Patricia Street and Hamlet Street, with the biggest number vandalized on Kings Drive.

All were damaged by thrown ceramic items or bricks that were traced to thefts early Tuesday morning from the front of two Chalmette residences, on Benjamin Street and Shangri-La Drive, the sheriff said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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N.O. man sought for dragging a Violet woman by an arm for 50 feet while driving away after an argument;

Lydell Jones, 23, of New Orleans, wanted for dragging a Violet woman 50 feet while driving

June 06, 2013 - A New Orleans man is wanted on a felony battery count for dragging a Violet woman by an arm for 50 feet while quickly driving away after an argument, injuring her as she tumbled in the street, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Lydell Jones, 23, whose last address was 918 Andry St., is wanted on an arrest warrant signed by a judge alleging aggravated battery in the May 31 incident in which the 22-year-old woman was treated at a hospital and later released.

Anyone knowing Jones’ whereabouts should call the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 or Crimestoppers at 822-1111.

It happened in the 3300 block of Stacie Drive in Violet at about 9 p.m., the sheriff said.

When deputies arrived, the woman complained of pain to her right side, back and neck and had brush burns on her elbows and knees from hitting the ground while being dragged, the sheriff said.

Her shoes were still in the street when deputies got there, having been knocked off as she tumbled over during the incident. Deputies estimated she was dragged about 50 feet, trying to run as best she could before hitting the ground and he then released the arm he held.

She was taken by ambulance to St. Bernard Parish Hospital to be examined and has been released.

The woman said she and Jones, who know each other, had gotten into an altercation in her home over a personal matter and she asked him to leave.

He complied, going to his vehicle, she said, and she left the house to go across the street and see a neighbor because she was scared.

As she stepped into the street, Jones allegedly pulled along side her in his Nissan SUV, reached outside the driver’s window and grabbed her by an arm and accelerated quickly, continuing to hold on to her, a sheriff’s report of the incident said.

Jones, who has served time in prison for drug convictions, drove away after releasing her to the ground and wasn’t found at the time by deputies, the report said.

Sheriff’s detectives, following up on the initial report, sought the arrest warrant from a judge for aggravated battery, which is a felony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sheriff’s Office asking for help identifying people who went on a spree of damaging 7 parked vehicles by throwing stolen ceramic items and bricks at them

June 05, 2013 - One of more people went on a spree of damaging seven parked vehicles in an area of Chalmette early Tuesday morning by throwing stolen ceramic items and bricks at them, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

“These were pointless crimes of opportunity,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said, adding that the only aim seemed to be to vandalize parked vehicles.

The sheriff is asking for the public’s help in identifying anyone involved in the incidents or giving a possible description of a vehicle involved. If you have information, call the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501.

Nothing was apparently stolen from the vehicles that were damaged on Imperial Drive, Kings Drive, Patricia Street and Hamlet Street. Most were parked on Kings Drive.

Some vehicles had windshields or windows broken out and some had less damage.

All were damaged by thrown ceramic items or bricks that were traced to two thefts early Tuesday morning from the front of two Chalmette residences, on Benjamin Street and Shangri-La Drive, the sheriff said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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