Ouachita Parish Metro Narcotics Unit agents and other law enforcement agencies arrested 15 people and seized piles of illegal drugs last week, disrupting a drug trafficking organization authorities began investigating last summer.

During the course of this investigation, MNU agents conducted numerous controlled purchases of narcotics from suspects associated with the drug trafficking organization.

Agents also conducted several traffic stops which led to authorities' seizure of narcotics. These vehicles were being operated by suspects involved in this drug trafficking organization who were transporting narcotics into Ouachita Parish.

MNU had assistance from Monroe Police Department and Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office SCAT, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Louisiana State Police.

The law enforcement agencies executed several search warrants at residences throughout Ouachita Parish on March 10, resulting in the seizure of a numerous firearms and a large quantity of narcotics.

During the course of this investigation, agents seized 737 grams of methamphetamine, 253 grams of heroin, 205 dosage units of Xanax, 20 grams of cocaine, 101 dosage units of Ecstasy, 189 grams of marijuana, 22 dosage units of Hydrocodone, 13 dosage units of Suboxone, 10 dosage units of Oxycodone, 31 grams of fentanyl, 40 dosage units of fentanyl, one pill press, two assault rifles, one handgun and three 12-gauge shotguns.

Pair arrested for selling meth

During the investigation, sheriff's deputies on the SCAT unit received an anonymous tip that two individuals were using or selling methamphetamine at a house on Prairie Road. Authorities also were told there were several guns at the house.

Deputies made contact with the homeowner, Paul Russell Duke, 51, of 1606 Prairie Road, Monroe, who invited deputies to enter the house.

Another resident, Stacy Aiken, 58, also consented to a search.

After a search, deputies found about 135 grams of meth, 106 grams of marijuana, two digital scales, one Suboxone strip, two Hydrocodone tablets and a 12-gauge shotgun in the back bedroom of the home.

Deputies also found one gram of heroin on a chair and 49 Alprazolam tablets, one Tylenol tablet containing codeine and four tablets of another drug in a purse in the living room.

Aiken claimed ownership of all drugs found in her purse while Duke claimed ownership of all drugs found in the bedroom.

Aiken and Duke each denied ownership of the heroin or gun.

They were each booked at Ouachita Correctional Center. Aiken was charged with possession of CDS 1, possession of Schedule IV narcotics with intent, possession of Schedule III drugs, possession of Schedule II drugs, and illegal carrying of a weapon in the presence of drugs.

Duke was charged with possession of CDS 1 drug with intent to distribute, possession of CDS 1, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of Schedule II drugs with intent, possession of Schedule III drugs, illegal carrying of weapons in the presence of drugs, and possession of a Schedule II drug.

Pair arrested

on heroin charges

During the investigation, MNU agents executed a search warrant at 305 Carter Drive in Monroe where they found 29.2 grams of heroin, 101 units of Ecstasy, some 20 grams of marijuana and 54.9 grams of meth.

Agents also found scales, bags, and other items associated with the distribution of narcotics in addition to a gun.

Commanche L. Wade, 27, who lived at the address, was found to be a convicted felon.

Wade was booked on four counts of distribution of heroin, conspiracy to distribute, possession of heroin with intent, possession of meth with intent, possession of Ecstasy with intent, possession of marijuana, possession of a gun in presence of drugs, possession of a gun by a convicted felon, and violation of a protective order, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Ziamber B. Leonard, 21, of 214 Plum St., Monroe, who also was apprehended at the time, admitted during questioning that he distributed drugs.

Leonard was booked on possession of heroin with intent, possession of Ecstasy with intent, possession of marijuana with intent, possession of meth with intent, and possession of a gun in the presence of drugs.

Other suspects

arrested

According to the Sheriff's Office, other individuals arrested included Cornell Smith,45, on numerous charges including six counts of distribution of heroin and distribution of cocaine; Willie Dominique, of Monroe, on charges including possession of heroin with intent and distribution of Xanax; Hunter Duet, 24, on charges including possession of fentanyl and heroin with intent; Michael Karty, 53, on charges including possession of heroin and fentanyl with intent; Charles Clark, 52, on charges including possession of heroin with intent; Wayne Johnson, on five counts of distribution of meth; Otis Chaplin, 69, on suspicion of possession of CDS II and possession of gun in presence of drugs; Michael Griffin, 26, for possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine with intent; Jonathan Harris, 43, on charges including seven counts of distribution of meth as well as possession of heroin with intent; Stephanie Cotton, 50, on charges including possession of CDS I and possession of CDS II with intent; and Jason Cole, on two counts of distribution of Oxycodone.

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