Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz said Wednesday that narcotics detectives received information from several sources regarding prescription pills being distributed in Eunice.
The sources also claimed that Raymond Trahan, Jr., a Eunice officer, was protecting the group from law-enforcement officers and distributing pills himself.
Sheriff Guidroz stated, “The narcotics detectives investigated the information and found it credible.
“They then informed the Internal Affairs Unit of the Eunice Police Department and briefed them on the investigation.”
“The Sheriff’s Narcotics Detectives were then able to purchase a substantial quantity of pills from Trahan.”
“The Narcotics Detectives also arranged for additional pill purchases and he (Trahan), told investigating officers his source of supply was picking up more pills in Houston, Texas.”
“The Narcotics Detectives along with Eunice Police Detectives escorted Trahan to a residence on College Rd. where they obtained consent to search from Trahan and the other subjects who live at the residence.”
“During the search the Narcotics Detectives located assorted prescription pills, including adderall, xanex and soma, from numerous doctors in Texas. The narcotics detectives also located several hand guns and assorted drug paraphernalia," Guidroz said.
Eunice police had no information on Wednesday morning regarding the arrest or the case.
Chief Gary Fontenot and Capt. and Information Officer Bret Faulkner were out of town.
Donald Johnson, the renter of the residence, Jay Barnwell and Trahan were arrested for the items in the residence.
The suspects were transported to the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office Eunice substation and interviewed.
During these interviews, Barnwell, who was on probation for previous drug charges, allegedly said Johnson and Trahan would give Barnwell money to go to Texas and visit several different doctors.
Barnwell would visit at least two different doctors per week and have the prescribed medication, lortab, xanex, soma and ibuprofen 800 mg, filled at pharmacies in Texas.
Barnwell would then bring the prescription pills back to Eunice and give them to Johnson and Trahan to distribute.
An estimate of the number of pills the group was distributing was approximately 1,000 prescription pills per week with a street value of approximately $6,000.
Johnson allegedly told the Narcotics Detectives that at least one of the guns seized may be stolen because he bought the guns from a person on the street.
He further stated, detectives said, that the group had been smoking legal weed; which is a form of incense that is sold at most corner stores.
Sheriff Guidroz stated, “The substance has created such a following and is so dangerous when not used as intended, that the Legislature has classified some of the ingredients as a schedule one controlled dangerous substance and it will be illegal to possess or distribute the substance as of August 15, 2010. If you are caught in possession or distributing the substance you could face the same penalty as using or distributing Marijuana.”
Charges in the case:
Raymond L. Trahan, Jr., 126 College Rd., distribution of a Schedule III drug, (lortab), possession with intent to distribute a schedule IV drug (xanex), possession with intent to distribute a schedule IV drug, (soma), possession of drug paraphernalia.
Jay H. Barnwell, on probation for previous drug charges, 126 College Rd., distribution of a schedule III drug, possession with intent to distribute schedule IV drug, three counts possession with intent to distribute a schedule IV drug, possession of drug paraphernalia.
Donald J. Johnson, 126 College Rd., distribution of a schedule III drug, possession with intent to distribute a schedule II drug, two counts possession with intent to distribute schedule IV drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and illegal carrying of weapons in presence of a controlled dangerous substance.