SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Watch View Alerts

Heroin and Methamphetamine Traffickers Sentenced in Federal Court

Photo courtesy of the USDA

Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that two men have been sentenced in the Western District of Louisiana for trafficking heroin and methamphetamine.

Posted: Mar 23, 2021 4:02 PM

LAFAYETTE, La. -Blandon Richard a/k/a Blandon Todd Bessard, 45, of Kaplan, Louisiana, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Michael J. Juneau to 90 months (7years, 6 months) in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release,for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin. Richard was indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2019 on the charge and he pleaded guilty November 4, 2020. The charges in the indictment stemmed from an investigation into the drug trafficking activities of Richard and his co-defendants in the Lafayette area beginning in January 2019. Law enforcement agents obtained authority to intercept cell phone calls of Richard’s co-defendant. During the course of their investigation, agents overheard Richard on phone calls on multiple occasions between he and his co-defendant where Richard discussed obtaining heroin to redistribute to other people for profit. In February 2019, law enforcement agents intercepted phone calls from Richard to his co-defendant making arrangements to obtain heroin from him. Agents conducting physical surveillance observed Richard go to the co-defendant’s house and come out a short time later. Surveillance of Richard’s vehicle continued and after committing a traffic violation, officers with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office stopped the vehicle. Officers observed in plain view in the ashtray of the vehicle a baggie which contained what appeared to be a controlled substance. At that time, officers retrieved the controlled substance and put Richard in handcuffs and advised him of his Miranda rights. An occupant in the vehicle with Richard was also handcuffed and advised of her Miranda rights. She admitted to law enforcement officers that when they were stopped by law enforcement, Richard told her to hide the baggie containing what was thought to be a controlled substance and she put in her pants. She retrieved the drugs and officers seized it. The substance in the bag weighing approximately 11.6 grams was later field-tested and was determined to be heroin. The FBI and Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert C. Abendroth prosecuted the case.

MONROE,La. –John Allen Whitaker, 49, of West Monroe, Louisiana,was sentenced by United States District Judge Donald E. Walter to 96 months (8 years) in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Whitaker was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 18, 2019 and he later pleaded guilty to the charge on November 4, 2020. The charge stems from a traffic stop conducted by a Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy on August 15, 2019. Whitaker was stopped for a traffic violation and during the stop, deputies found that he possessed more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. Deputies arrested Whitaker and after a voluntary waiver of his Miranda rights, he admitted that the methamphetamine belonged to him. The DEA and Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Shannon prosecuted the case.

Lafayette
Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 67°
New Iberia
Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 63°
Ville Platte
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 66°
Abbeville
Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 65°
Crowley
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 66°
St. Martinville
Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 63°
Opelousas
Mostly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 66°
Tracking the severe threat and winter weather

Latest Video

Image

Items to have on-hand for a power outage

Image

Tracking rain and then much colder

Image

Royalty Positions Still Open For Krewe Des Chien Parade

Image

Movies In The Parc Opens With 'Frozen'

Image

Sky Craft Circus Hosts First Week of Aerial Silks Classes

Image

Olive Tree Sober Living Receives Donation For Nonprofit Of The Month

Image

Warm Today, Big Cold To End Week

Image

Warm now, cold later

Image

No Mardi Gras for Jeanerette

Image

Tracking one more warm day

Community Events