Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Cocaine seized from plane originated in Mexico • Thibodaux Municipal Airport (L83), Louisiana

John D. Crow is being held in the Terrebonne Parish jail on a $5 million bond. He is scheduled to enter a plea Oct. 30. 
(Photo via Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office)

Louisiana State Police

Nearly $470,000 worth of cocaine seized Sept. 28 from the plane of a Texas man who landed at the Thibodaux Airport is believed to have originated in Mexico, local authorities said. 

John Crow, 29, was headed toward the East Coast from his home in Brownsville, Texas, when he landed at the airport, in Schriever, to refuel, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter said. Federal and state authorities arrested Crowe in the early evening on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and transactions involving drug proceeds.

Crow, in the Terrebonne jail on a $5 million bond, is scheduled to enter a plea Oct. 30 in state District Judge Juan Pickett's Houma courtroom.

Terrebonne District Attorney Joe Waitz Jr. confirmed that his office is discussing the possibility of state charges in addition to federal ones. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is in charge of the investigation.

“The case is still in its infancy, but it may go down both ways,” Waitz said. “It's a serious case.”

The Sheriff's Office, Customs, State Police and Thibodaux Police made contact with Crow's plane when it landed, officials said. Police seized 15.6 kilograms of cocaine and $2,090 in cash, along with the plane.

Local officials declined to comment on the exact origin of the drugs in Mexico or Crow's final destination, citing the ongoing federal investigation.

Larpenter said this wasn't the first time his agency had intercepted large quantities of drugs in transit from Mexico, citing similar past busts of airplanes and shrimp boats.

“All of this cocaine, heroin and synthetic marijuana are not grown here. All we can do is to try to stop it from coming in,” he added. “We're fighting it vigorously.”

Brownsville lies on the U.S.-Mexico border, directly north of the city of Matamoros. A former tourist town, Matamoros has become one of the most dangerous border cities in Mexico over the past five years after violence erupted from the Los Zetas and Gulf drug cartels fighting over territory.

Story and photo:  http://www.houmatoday.com

John Crow

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