Nov 17, 2010 7:01 PM by Shawn Kline
Police arrest more than 12 women in the span of a few hours. It's all part of Vermilion Parish's war on drugs.
It started at 7:00AM on Wednesday morning; the Vermilion Parish task force, briefing deputies on their targets: 27 women scattered throughout the parish, all of them accused of selling drugs to undercover officers.
"You're finding more and more drug users coming from very good families so it doesn't discriminate," Sgt. Kim Verret of VPSO said.
Sgt. Verret is one of the deputies involved with this search. She's been with sheriff's office for 12-years.
"My dad's retired state police, his uncle is retired state police, my dad's brother is retired sheriff's deputy," Verret said. "So you might say I was brought up in a law enforcement family."
Verret says drugs have always been an issue in vermilion parish but the war against drugs is getting tougher every day.
"It's a different kind of criminal," she said. "They're more brazen- and different kind of drugs- mind altering."
All-in-all, the sheriff's office alongside the Abbeville Police Department made nearly a dozen arrests.
Some of those accused turned themselves in, others arrested at work, and a few even claiming the warrant had mistaken their identity.
Most of the warrants accused these women of possession or distribution of illegal drugs- usually prescription pills or marijuana.
Here's a run-down of the arrests and charges and what the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office has to say about their war on drugs:
On Wednesday November 17th the Vermilion / Municipal Narcotics Task Force conducted a round up with the intent to chip away at several outstanding narcotics related warrants. The different thing about this round up is that it was solely focused on female suspects. Sheriff Mike Couvillon states that "the parish facility can only hold up to eight female inmates at one time. Once these beds are full it is difficult to find space to move them out so officers can arrest other parties with outstanding warrants. Without the working relationship with other agencies out of the parish who take in these female suspects it would make it very difficult to continually keep our streets and homes safe. We have accumulated approximately thirty seven narcotics related warrants for twenty seven females." Charges ranged from Distribution of Crack Cocaine, possession of crack cocaine, distribution of marijuana, possession of marijuana, distribution and possession of several different prescription pills which are controlled dangerous substances under the Louisiana Uniformed Controlled Dangerous Substance Act. "No matter the gender, selling drugs is selling drugs in this parish" states Couvillon. "We were able to clear several warrants while making ten arrests and are actively searching for more. My suggestion is that if you know that we paid you a visit today , you contact my office and make means to turn yourself in." Sheriff Couvillon would like to thank Chief Tony Hardy and the Abbeville Police Department for their assistance in arresting and transporting some of these suspects. "I will say it time and time again, this is what happens when you combine two departments and utilize manpower for the good of the entire parish. Chief Tony Hardy has always been on board in assisting with the fight against illegal drug activity. The following persons were arrested in the round up:
Jency Durke (12-11-85) residing at 505 S. Washington St. Abbeville was charged with Possession of Marijuana and bond is set at $1,500.00.
Jennifer Gaspard (02-28-83) residing at 505 3RD St. Kaplan was charged with Distribution of Alprazolam and bond is set at $20,000.00.
Alexis Jackson (08-07-84) residing at 802 N. Frederick, Kaplan was charged with Possession of Hydrocodone and Possession of Marijuana and bond is set at $3,000.00.
Johanna Landry (04-12-76) residing at 18408 Catherine, Kaplan was charged with Attempted Distribution of Xanax and bond is set at $20,000.00.
Julie Landry (07-25-64) residing at 819 N. 1st, Kaplan was charged with Distribution of Xanax, Distribution of Lortabs, Distribution of Xanax and Distribution of Marijuana and bond is set at $20,000.00.
Lauren Langlinais (07-21-88) residing at 1000 South Miles, Abbeville was charged with Manufacturing of Cocaine and bond is set as $40,000.00.
Tabitha Levine (07-09-85) residing at 1610 MLK #171, Abbeville was charged with PWITD Marijuana; PWITD Cocaine; Manufacture of Cocaine and Possession of Alpazolam and bond is set at $55,000.00.
Michelle Staszak Litchfield (12-19-61) residing at 119 Faye St., Kaplan was charaged with Distribution of Xanax; Distribution of Lortabs; Distribution of Lortabs and Possession of Hydrocodone and bond is set at $17,500.00.
Sasha Menard (08-08-86) residing at 112 7th Street, Abbeville was charged with Possession of Marijuana; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of Cocaine and bond is set at $6,500.00
Brittany Zenon (12-24-87) residing at 11421 Grosse Isle Road, Abbeville was charged with PWITD Marijuana and bond is set at $10,000.00.
Sheriff Mike Couvillon, Abbeville Mayor Mark Piazza, Abbeville Chief of Police Tony Hardy, commends the Narcotics Task Force for a job well done.
Finally, Sheriff Couvillon would like to applaud the concerned citizens of Vermilion Parish for their awareness and assistance in helping the Sheriff's Office in fighting the war on illegal drugs. He encourages all citizens with information in regards to illegal drug activities to contact the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office or the Vermilion Parish Municipal Narcotics Task Force at 337-740-4501 or E-mail the Task Force anonymously at email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> and your e-mail will be held in the "strictest of confidence" and replied to in a very timely manner.
More information on reporting drug activities can be seen on our Web Site at www.vpso.net <http://www.vpso.net/>. Click on Narcotics or Task Force for this information.