News Releases - June 2010 Archived News Releases          



Man who just moved to Chalmette commits burglary and 2 thefts and sells items in St. Charles; but he had a 4-wheeler stolen from that parish

Troy Parker, 27  

Jun 30, 2010 - A man who recently moved to Chalmette apparently brought a stolen 4-wheel all-terrain vehicle with him from St. Charles Parish and reversed himself by also allegedly committing a burglary and two thefts in St. Bernard and getting rid of the stolen goods in St. Charles, Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Troy Parker, 27, 3312 Volpe Drive, who has been arrested for theft in the past, has been booked with possession of stolen property, with burglary and with two counts of theft.

Pohlmann said Parker was initially arrested in Chalmette on Monday, June 28, after deputies investigating the burglary of a neighbor’s shed found Parker in possession of a 4-wheel all-terrain vehicle valued at about $4,000 that was reported stolen in St. Charles Parish, where Parker had moved from. He was jailed in lieu of $12,000 bond.

Sheriff’s detectives, following up on the shed break-in, developed information on Parker as a suspect and booked him with the burglary in which a welding machine and an air compressor, with a total value of $2,000, were stolen. It was also learned the items had been recovered in St. Charles Parish.

Also, Parker was booked with theft of a riding lawn mower and a trailer in Arabi, both of which also were recovered in St. Charles Parish, Pohlmann said.

He said Parker allegedly had gotten rid of all the St. Bernard Parish stolen property in St. Charles Parish while being in possession of the 4-wheeler stolen in St. Charles.

Parker will go before a judge to have his bond raised because of the additional burglary and theft charges against him, Pohlmann said.


Registration open for new free session of Sheriff’s Citizens Police Academy which starts Aug. 18; Call 278-7628; 450 residents have attended since 1999

St. Bernard Parish resident John Palmer, a member of a recent Sheriff’s Citizens Police Academy held in Chalmette, aims at a screen showing computerized videos in a firearms simulator that is one of the featured programs used in the free classes. St. Bernard residents can now call 278-7628 and speak with Capt. Charles Borchers to register for new a new session that starts Aug. 18 at Nunez Community College. STEVE CANNIZARO PHOTO.  

Jun 29, 2010 - St. Bernard Parish residents who want to learn what police work entails in the parish and have a chance to ask questions should register for the new 8-week Citizens’ Police Academy free sessions which begin Aug. 18 at Nunez Community College, Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

There are numerous features to the program, including: receiving boating safety tips, hearing from FBI representatives, touring Parish Prison and experiencing a firearms simulator. Without actually firing a gun, the simulator – using computerized videos - puts residents in the place of a sheriff’s deputy and lets them decide when to use a weapon on a criminal suspect.

Pohlmann said, “This will answer a lot of the questions you have had about law enforcement and why things are done they way they are.’’  Graduates, he said, become “ambassadors for law enforcement because it gives them a vested interest in what happens in St. Bernard.’’

Pohlmann said there are frank discussions about specifics of law enforcement in St. Bernard and chances for residents to ask questions and give their in-put.

To register, residents should call (504) 278-7628 and speak with Capt. Charles Borchers, head of Crime Prevention for the Sheriff’s Office.

The classes, which will feature speakers from the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, are geared to fostering good relations between the community and law enforcement.

This is the third class for the Sheriff’s Citizens Police Academy since Hurricane Katrina and more than 75 people graduated those two sessions, said Borchers. “It’s been a great success since we started back,’’ Borchers said.

The class includes information on diverse topics such as most aspects of law enforcement, hands-on use of equipment including the firearms simulator, a SWAT Team equipment demonstration, a tour of the Parish Prison and boating safety tips from the sheriff’s Marine Division.




St. Bernard Parish man booked with forcible rape

Jeremy Bowden, 18  

Jun 29, 2010 - An 18-year-old St. Bernard Parish man was booked Tuesday afternoon, June 29, with forcible rape of an 18-year-old woman, which allegedly happened at a house in Chalmette in the early morning hours of June 28, Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Jeremy Bowden, 245-B Bayou Road in the St. Bernard community in the eastern part of the parish, was booked into St. Bernard Parish Prison after his arrest by a sheriff’s detective. Bowden was being held without bond pending an appearance before a judge.

Forcible rape carries a maximum sentence of up to 40 years in prison.

The woman involved, who lives in the eastern part of the parish, called the Sheriff’s Office on Monday evening, June 28, to report she had been raped by Bowden earlier that day, Pohlmann said.

She said she knows the arrested suspect and had been out to a movie with him and others on Sunday night, June 27, and returned after midnight to the residence of a member of the group.

The woman said she and Bowden went into a bedroom, where she said he physically forced her to engage in a sex act. She left the residence afterward and she and her mother met with sheriff’s deputies after reporting the incident about 7 p.m. that night.

Bowden maintained the sex was consensual, Pohlmann said.




Chalmette man steals duck from Torres Park with intent to kill and eat it; animal returned unharmed

Ashmeer Tahir, 38  

Jun 29, 2010 - A Chalmette man wanted to reverse the usual way of dealing with the ducks who have long inhabited the pond at Torres Park: Instead of feeding them he wanted to eat one, Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Ashmeer Tahir, 38, 3713 Juno Drive, was booked with theft of an animal on Monday, June 28, after someone reported seeing him remove a Muscovie duck from Sidney Torres Park and a sheriff’s deputy found him at his home, with a duck inside a bucket in his van.

Tahir, who acknowledged he intended to kill and eat the bird, has been released on bond but the amount wasn’t available.

The duck, who was unharmed, was returned to the park along Patricia Street which is operated by St. Bernard Parish government.

Numerous ducks inhabit the pond in the park and children visiting with their parents or relatives can often be see feeding the animals which sometimes trail behind humans as they seek a snack.

Tahir was spotted putting a duck in his silver van and turning north on nearby Juno Drive from Patricia Street, according to a witness who called the Sheriff’s Office about 7:30 a.m. on Monday, June 28, Pohlmann said.

Deputy Sheriff Jarrod Gourgues of the sheriff’s Traffic Division located the vehicle in a driveway on Juno.

Cpl. William Parks spoke to Tahir, the driver of the van, and asked if he had just been to Torres Park where ducks are located, to which Tahir replied that he had, according to a sheriff’s initial report of the incident. Parks then went to the passenger side of the van and in plain view was a duck inside a bucket on the floor of the vehicle.

After being advised of his rights and told he was being arrested, Tahir said a “wildlife person’’ he spoke to told him it was alright to remove a duck from the park, but he couldn’t provide a name, Pohlmann said.

He then acknowledged he took the duck and said h was on his way home to kill and eat the bird.

The duck was taken back to the park and set free, Pohlmann said.



Eighteen-year-old booked with indecent behavior with 4 pre-teen male cousins; N.O. firefighter arrested for leaving young son in car with windows up on hot day

Jun 25, 2010 - An 18-year-old Chalmette man was arrested early Friday, June 25, and booked with 3 counts of indecent behavior and one sexual battery count for inappropriately touching four of his pre-teen male cousins, St. Bernard Parish Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

He said the arrested suspect, whose name isn’t being released to protect the identity of the victims ages 12, 11, 10 and 8, was taken into custody after 1:30 a.m. when the mother of two of the boys called the Sheriff’s Office after learning of the incidents that also involved nephews of the mother who called.

Each of the boys was questioned separately by sheriff’s deputies and told of being touched inappropriately by their older cousin, some on more than one occasion, Pohlmann said.

The 18-year-old, who lives near the other two families in Chalmette, was also booked on an arrest warrant from April 29 charging him with a disturbance. He is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison and no bond has been set.

In an unrelated matter, Chad Casimire, 34, a New Orleans firefighter, was booked in St. Bernard Parish with child desertion on Wednesday, June 23, for leaving his 2-year-old son unattended in a locked car with its windows up on a hot day while the father shopped with another son in the Wal-Mart store in Chalmette, Pohlmann said.

He said the boy was asleep and initially unresponsive when sheriff’s deputies gained access to the vehicle about 6:15 p.m. after a passer-by in the parking lot reported seeing him inside, but the child was attended to by medical technicians and was pronounced okay.

The temperature was about 90 degrees at the time and the boy was left alone in the closed car for at least 20 minutes, according to a security tape from Wal-Mart’s surveillance system, Pohlmann said.

Casimire, while in the store, was summoned by an announcement over the loud speaker that the guardian responsible for the child in the vehicle needed to go to the car immediately.

When he came out, Casimire said he arrived with the two sons, a 4-year-old and the 2-year-old. He took the older boy inside with him but because the younger one was asleep he didn’t want to awaken him so he locked the car with the youngster unattended inside in a child seat, Pohlmann said.

He confirmed he knew the vehicle engine was off and the windows were up. Sheriff’s deputies then booked Casimire with the child desertion charge because a youngster could die of heat exhaustion in such a situation on a hot day or could be kidnapped from the vehicle, Pohlmann said.

Casimire was booked into the St. Bernard Parish Prison and later released on bond, but the amount wasn’t available. Both children were turned over to their mother.




Sheriff’s Office seeks owners of recovered trailer and two water cells; Violet man booked with possession of stolen property

Shown is a recovered trailer and one of two water cells the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office is trying to find the owner of to return the property. The items are believed stolen and were recovered among more than $100,000 of stolen items found May 14 on a Violet street. One man has been arrested for possession of stolen property. STEVE CANNIZARO PHOTO.   

Jun 24, 2010 - St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s detectives are seeking the owners of a recovered trailer and two water cells that were found among numerous stolen items that had a total of value of more than $100,000, Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

The trailer, manufactured by the Baker Trailer Co., and the water cells were among a trove of stolen items found in Violet on May 14 by St. Bernard sheriff’s detectives and patrol deputies. The recovered property included a triple-axle dump truck worth at least $60,000.

Anyone who believes the trailer or water cells belong to them must provide proof of ownership in the form of registration papers, a receipt with a VIN number on it for the trailer or a copy of a police report they filed when the item was reported missing, Pohlmann said. To claim an item, call the St. Bernard sheriff’s detective bureau at (504) 278-7630 during business hours.

One arrest has been made in connection with the recovery of stolen property. Branden Angelety, 29, 6319 Louis Elam Drive, Violet, has been  booked on two counts of possession of stolen property – the 2004 Kenilworth triple-axle dump truck reported stolen in Kenner in August 2009 and an enclosed U-Haul trailer in which Angelety’s name was found on tools inside the vehicle, Pohlmann said. Angelety is free on bonds totaling $22,000.

All the property was recovered on Canal Street in Violet, one side of which backs up to a wooded area near the Violet Canal. Included, besides the dump truck, were two front-end loaders, several trailers, a 300-gallon fuel tank and a 2006 Dodge Magnum station wagon reported stolen in New Orleans in 2009 and was missing engine parts and had many body parts taken off and left on a trailer.




Seven St. Bernard men booked in heroin case that starts with two seen buying drugs in a truck that had a phone number on it

Jun 23, 2010 - Besides the obvious that buying heroin on the street can get the buyer arrested, how about being seen buying it while in a truck with a phone number on it advertising the vehicle for sale?

That scenario was the start of an investigation that led to seven St. Bernard Parish men being arrested on heroin-related charges, Sheriff Jack A. Stephens said.

Agents from the St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit were conducting an investigation on June 16 that took them into the Ninth Ward in New Orleans. While there they noticed two men in a truck make what seemed to be a hand-to-hand narcotics transition with a man on a street and they were in a vehicle that had a For Sale sign and a telephone number on it, Sheriff Stephens said.

The SID agents, commanded by Col. Chad Clark, followed the truck to St. Bernard Parish in an unmarked vehicle and decided to call the number on the truck and pretend to be interested in buying it. They asked if they could look at it. The idea, the sheriff said, was to get the driver to stop without suspecting he was being followed by sheriff’s deputies so the men wouldn’t try to swallow any drugs they had or try to speed away.

They agreed to meet at a location on Paris Road near Judge Perez Drive, the sheriff said. In the subsequent investigation, agents located four small bags of an off-white powder substance that tested positive for heroin. The total was about a gram, valued at $100, he said.

Jason Swindler, 35, 2425 Southlake Blvd., Violet, the owner and driver of the truck, was booked with possession with intent to distribute .9 grams of heroin.

Micah Oramous, 28, 2917 Mumphrey Road, Chalmette, the passenger, was booked with attempted possession of the heroin.

After their arrest, further investigation found that two of the bags were intended for Swindler’s uncle, Lloyd Gilchrist Jr., 48, 2113 Munster Blvd., Meraux, Sheriff Stephens said.

After the arrest of Swindler and Oramous, agents went to the home of Gilchrist and knocked on the door, the sheriff said, and it swung open. Agents announced their presence but no one came to the door, so the officers stepped inside and found three men sitting at a dinner table and observed a syringe containing a brown-like substance, Sheriff Stephens said.

Then Gilchrist exited a rear bedroom and another man came out of a bathroom. Agents looked in the rear bedroom and found four syringes and a spoon with residue. A field test showed both the brown-like substance and spoon residue tested positive for heroin.

Arrested at 2113 Munster Blvd. were:

Lloyd Gilchrist Jr., 48, who lived there and was booked with possession of heroin, attempted possession of heroin, probation violation and possession of paraphernalia.
Lloyd Gilchrist III, 26, 2113 Munster, was booked with possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.
John Calico, 43, 2009 Munster Blvd., Meraux, was booked with possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Richard Hancock, 43, 2200 Munster Blvd., Meraux, 47, was booked with possession of heroin, possession of paraphernalia and parole violation.

Eric Treadaway, 47, (no address available) was booked with possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.

All seven were booked into St. Bernard Parish Prison. Lloyd Gilchrist Jr. remained jailed in lieu of $35,000 bond, Gilchrist III also remained in jail but his bond wasn’t available; Swindler, Oramous and Treadaway have been released on bonds but the amounts weren’t available and there wasn’t any information available on the status of Calico and Hancock.


Four SBSO deputies graduated from the P.O.S.T. academy

Four St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s deputies, all of whom are working in the Patrol Division, were graduated from the Peace Officers Standards and Training, or P.O.S.T., academy held by the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and are shown at ceremonies held Thursday night, June 17, at Hahnville High School. The officers are, from left, Bryan Fleetwood Jr., Joshua Clement, Brett Perez and Robert Morales. With them at right is Maj. David DiMaggio, director of training for the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office.

Man booked with two burglaries and two auto thefts; Two men arrested in separate burglary

June 19, 2010 - A St. Bernard Parish man was booked with two burglaries, two auto thefts and with possession of stolen property, while in a separate burglary two St. Tammany Parish men were arrested, Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Kenneth Rabalais, 25, 6301 Delacroix Highway, was arrested June 16 after someone he knew brought him from New Orleans to Chalmette to surrender on warrants that had been issued for Rabalais’ arrest.

Rabalais, who is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison on a probation violation hold, was booked with two burglaries, two counts of auto theft and with possession of stolen property, Pohlmann said.

St. Bernard authorities had been looking for him since May and during that time he allegedly stole a vehicle in Arabi on June 14 after committing a burglary, Pohlmann said.

In the other burglary arrests, Ross Dupriest, 20, of Bush and Andrew Whittington, 20, of Madisonville were both booked June 13 with burglary of a vehicle at a residence in Chalmette after a sheriff’s deputy on patrol saw their vacant car, with its engine running, parked in the middle of the 3400 block of Riverland Drive and found the men had removed items from a truck in a nearby driveway, Pohlmann said.

Sheriff’s Deputy Randy Dabdoub saw the parked car about 5:15 a.m. and when he got out of his patrol car he noticed Dupriest and Whittington reaching in the rear cab of a truck and removing items, Pohlmann said. Other items were on the ground. The owner of the truck confirmed she didn’t know either man or give them permission to take things from her vehicle or be on her property.

Both men, who smelled of alcohol beverage, were booked with burglary, being drunk in public, simple criminal damage and criminal trespass. Both are being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison.


SBSO reminds motorists and passengers to use their seatbelts

The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office has been putting up signs distributed by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission reminding motorists and passengers to use their seatbelts. Corrections Deputy Bryan Cadzow, left, and trusty prisoners from the parish jail placed the signs at locations throughout the parish, including one at Jean Lafitte Parkway and West Judge Perez Drive in Chalmette. STEVE CANNIZARO PHOTO.



Five St.Bernard Parish business owners donated $1,200 to purchase special helmets for the sheriff’s 4-member Motorcycle Division

Five St. Bernard Parish business owners joined in donating $1,200 to purchase special helmets for the sheriff’s 4-member Motorcycle Division. Shown in front of the St. Bernard Parish Courthouse are, from left, father and son Anthony Calabresi and Angelo Calabresi, Lt. Mike Ingargiola, Sterling J. Cardon Jr., Deputy Sheriff Thomas Spicuzza, Lt. Brent Bourgeois, Todd Heier and Jay Saacks. Not pictured is the fourth member of the division, Deputy Sheriff Jarrod Gourgues. Also shown, Spicuzza, Ingargiola and Bourgeois hold up the new helmets. STEVE CANNIZARO PHOTOS.

St. Bernard residents can have extra sheriff’s patrols while on vacation; Call (504) 278-7763; Vacation crime prevention tips listed

June 18, 2010 - Before going on vacation, St. Bernard Parish residents should call the Sheriff’s Office and get on the list to have extra passes made at their home by patrol deputies, Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

“When thinking about the last-minute things to do before leaving remember to call (504) 278-7763 and get on the extra pass list, Pohlmann said.
He added, “That information is kept confidential’’ and revealed only to the officers assigned to patrol the section where the caller lives.
Pohlmann said residents can also leave a contact number so a patrol deputy can call them if they see anything wrong at a home, including non crime-related matters such as damage from a wind or rain storm.

Capt. Charles Borchers, head of Crime Prevention including the Neighborhood Watch program for the Sheriff’s Office, said the extra pass list has been used for years and helps residents be assured their homes will have some extra protection while they are away.

St. Bernard still has fewer residents than before Hurricane Katrina, which means fewer eyes on the streets in some neighborhoods to watch for suspicious actions. That makes signing up for the extra patrols at your home more valuable now than before the hurricane, Borchers said.

Also, St. Bernard residents interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch group in their area can call Borchers at (504) 278-7628.

Borchers said residents should consider the following crime prevention tips before leaving their home on vacation:
• Lock up. While this might seem obvious, some people forget to lock their house completely while rushing to get away. Make sure all doors and windows are locked.
• Be careful who you tell when you plan to be away from your home. However, ask a neighbor you can trust to watch for anything unusual.
• Do whatever possible to create the appearance someone is home. Keep a vehicle in the driveway or out front of your residence. Maintain your lawn before you leave or have someone mow your lawn while you are gone.Put outdoor lighting on either timers, light-sensitive photocell mechanisms, or motion detectors. Use timers to activate inside lighting, radios, or TVs. Use the new fluorescent (cfl) light bulbs because they burn cooler than the standard light bulbs.
• Don’t let deliveries accumulate. If possible, ask a neighbor or friend to pick up mail, newspapers and packages and any circulars placed on your front door. At least stop delivery of a newspaper so they don’t pile up.
• Don't leave keys under your doormat, flower pots or window ledges—intruders check these first.
• Keep shrubbery trimmed. Thick shrubbery and trees cover your windows, allowing burglars to work undetected.
• Never put your name on your mailbox because someone could look up your number and call to determine when you are not home.
• Set the telephone answering machine so that the rings do not exceed three or four.  If you do not have an answering machine, then turn the ringer down. Do not leave a message indicating you are away on vacation.
• Ensure your security system is armed and provide instructions to the central monitoring station, if you have one, to call your cell phone, the Sheriff’s Office and/or a particular friend, relative or neighbor.
• If your neighborhood has a Neighborhood Watch program inform officials about your vacation plans.




Sheriff’s Office prepared for hurricane season: boats and equipment tested, 60,000 sandbags stockpiled; Ongoing oil spill would be problem


Sheriff’s officials have been testing boats and equipment in preparation for hurricane season, as well as stockpiling sandbags and meeting to go over plans. Shown are Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann, Maj. Kelly Lauga and Capt. Brian Clark, head of the Marine Division, on a boat in Bayou LaLoutre at Hopedale. Also, sheriff’s deputies from various divisions meet to review hurricane season preparations.


Prison trusties, under the watch of corrections deputies, were put to work making and stockpiling 60,000 sandbags for use by the public and other agencies in the event of street flooding. Sheriff’s Dep. Bryan Cadzow uses a front end loader to pile sand in a trough so trusties can make sandbags. Also shown are rows of finished sandbags piled up ready for use. STEVE CANNIZARO PHOTOS  

June 17, 2010 - With hurricane season officially underway, the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office is prepared: Boats and equipment have been tested, plans are in place to move prisoners if necessary and 60,000 sandbags are stockpiled for residents, businesses and public agencies that might want them, Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

But the complicating factor this year is the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the time needed to break down base camps that have been set up in the easternmost part of St. Bernard to react to the threat, Pohlmann said.

“Those camps would have to be demobilized,’’ once it was determined a Tropical Storm or hurricane would affect St. Bernard, he said. Local fishermen participating in placing boom, the Sheriff’s Office, Parish Government, BP subcontractors, the Coast Guard, the National Guard and state Wildlife and Fisheries Department personnel have been on the scene of the oil spill-impacted area.

Pohlmann said, “Having taken the enormous hit from Hurricane Katrina in this parish, we intend to always be prepared for a hurricane season. Getting ready in advance is the most important thing.’’

Sheriff Jack A. Stephens has departments following the sheriff’s hurricane plan. A meeting to discuss the hurricane season was recently held among department heads to go over plans.

Members of the sheriff’s SWAT team are training on various types of boats from the sheriff’s Marine Division to be prepared to immediately patrol neighborhoods in case of any type of rain event flooding. More than 60,000 sandbags prepared by parish prison trusties are stockpiled for use by the public and other parish agencies.

Pohlmann said, “We have reviewed and updated the sheriff’s hurricane plan, prepared our Marine Division, inspected our sandbag inventory and tested equipment including generators and communications systems,’’ Pohlmann said.

“If parish government orders an evacuation of residents in any approaching storm we will facilitate that and then lock down the parish to prevent non-residents from entering,’’ Pohlmann said.

In the event of an ordered evacuation, he said, hopefully residents would comply as they did in 2008 in the last time it was necessary, which would reduce the need for search and rescue operations if there was flooding in a storm, he said. Pohlmann said he encourages residents to have their own personal evacuation plan if they are asked to leave.

“The Sheriff’s Office would quickly return to law enforcement functions, including patrol by boat if necessary, to protect property in the parish,’’ in the event of evacuation because of threatened flooding, Pohlmann said. “We don’t want residents to have to worry about burglars if they must evacuate.’’

A major improvement since Hurricane Katrina is communications systems, including one agency being able to speak by radio to others, Pohlmann said.

“We now have inter-operability in communications with other parish agencies as well as with the state and others in the region,’’ which addresses a major problem that took place after Hurricane Katrina.

Capt. Brian Clark, head of the sheriff’s Marine Division and a former veteran supervisor with the state Wildlife and Fisheries Department, said his division has more than 20 boats of various types to respond to emergencies, including shallow water craft, urban search and rescue types, airboats and deeper water vessels.

“We have our equipment in order and a plan in place for all Marine Division assets,’’ Clark said.

The SWAT team will continue training, as it does every summer, in use of the boats available for patrolling neighborhoods if there were flooding, Clark said.


Repeat offender arrested in numerous burglaries; 3 guns, money and cameras seized; He admits two break-ins and is booked as a felon with firearms

Sean Penney, 34   

A Chalmette man who served time for burglary has been arrested in St. Bernard Parish and accused of a string of as many as 10 recent business and home break-ins that occurred since his release from prison, Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said. Three guns were seized, along with several hundred dollars in stolen quarters and two cameras.

Sean Penney, 34, 3233 Golden Drive, Apt. D, admitted two burglaries after his arrest Tuesday, June 16, and will also be booked with as many as eight other burglaries, Pohlmann said.

Sheriff’s detectives, commanded by Chief of Detectives Col. John Doran, developed information on Penney as a suspect and arrested him after a search warrant was executed at his apartment.

Pohlmann said detectives found three guns, along with hundreds of dollars in quarters believed stolen in one burglary, two cameras stolen in another break-in, plus a pair of boots and a flashlight attachment for a hat which matched items worn by an intruder shown on a video surveillance system at one of the burglary scenes, Pohlmann said.

Pohlmann said Penney committed business and residence burglaries along Paris Road and at a restaurant on East Judge Perez Drive, which is near his apartment.

As well as the burglaries, Penney was booked with being a felon illegally in possession of firearms and with parole violation. He is being held without bond in St. Bernard Parish Prison.

Penney went to prison for several burglaries of the same Violet bar in 2004, was then paroled, but he later violated that parole because of a drug possession arrest in St. Tammany Parish, Pohlmann said. He was sent back to prison and was released again on parole earlier this year.


Patrol deputies make quick arrests in two burglary cases; catch a man with a gun on a stolen bike and book four with 75 pills and marijuana

Jun 11, 2010 - In four recent cases, St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s deputies on patrol made quick arrests in two home burglaries, caught a man with a gun who ran when stopped while riding a stolen bicycle and also arrested four people with 75 pills and marijuana after a hit-and-run incident, Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

In the burglary arrests, calls from residents while the break-ins were taking place resulted in patrol deputies being able to quickly locate suspects, Pohlmann said, saying such vital assistance from the public significantly increases the chances of an arrest being made.

Pohlmann said, “Never hesitate to call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 if you see anything suspicious taking place in your neighborhood. You can help protect your street.’’

The patrol deputies who made the arrests are commanded by Maj. Mark Poche.

In one instance in late May, Aaron Saucier, 26, 3020 Lloyds St., Chalmette, was booked with burglary after the owner of a house on West Josephine Street reported he saw someone inside his residence that was under construction, Pohlmann said. After a quick search of the area, Saucier was located by deputies and under questioning acknowledged he and another man, John Canale, no age or address available, had gone into the house to steal wire for resale.

Saucier also admitted to burglarizing autos in the area, Pohlmann said.

Canale was arrested on a later date and both he and Saucier are being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison on burglary charges.

In another case, William Crawford, 32, 2200 Trio St., Chalmette, was booked May 28 with burglary of a residence on Jupiter Drive in Chalmette after an anonymous called told the Sheriff’s Office there was a burglary in progress and descried the man who broke into the residence.

Sheriff’s Dep. Randy Dabdoub, working with Cpl. Michael Lyons, found Crawford in the area and under questioning he admitted to the burglary. Items stolen were recovered, Pohlmann said. Crawford was booked into the jail on a burglary charge.

An Arabi man, Earl Davis, 18, 912 Community St., was booked May 28 with theft of a bicycle, possession of a gun with an obliterated serial number, resisting an officer and trespassing when he jumped from a bicycle and ran when sheriff’s deputies tried to question him about riding in the street and forcing motorists to swerve to avoid hitting him, Pohlmann said.

During the foot chase, Davis was seen throwing away an object and after he was caught he admitted to stealing the bicycle on Aycock Street in Arabi. The property was returned to the owner.

Afterward, a resident of the area reported finding a gun in the immediate area of the foot pursuit with Davis and at St. Bernard Parish Prison Davis admitted he had had the weapon on him but threw it down before being captured, Pohlmann said.

Also, on the night of June 10, a man driving a vehicle with three women passengers struck two vehicles in a hit-and-run incident in Chalmette before their car was disabled.

When deputies arrived on the call, Pohlmann said, the driver of the hit-and-run vehicle, Brad Oracoy, 23, 1804 Latapie Lane, St. Bernard community, stumbled and fell as he was ordered from the vehicle.

Deputies found 15 tablets of a prescription drug scattered on a rear passenger floorboard and also found a paper bag containing 60 tablets and a clear plastic bag containing marijuana, Pohlmann said.

The pills were Xanax and Soma.

Oracoy and passengers Shanda Norton, 20, 2320 Nicosia Drive and Monica DeLoach, 22, 2016 Christie Drive, both of the Poydras area; and Danika Pentney, 20, 2518 Citrus Drive, St. Bernard community, were all booked into St. Bernard Prison on charges of possession of marijuana and possession of the drugs Xanax and Soma.

Also, Oracoy was booked with driving while intoxicated, hit-and-run, driving under suspension for prior DWI and with not having vehicle insurance.


Sheriff’s Office asked immigration officials to look into reports of illegal aliens working in the oil spill cleanup

Jun 10, 2010 - St. Bernard Parish Sheriff Jack A. Stephens confirmed the department asked federal immigration officials weeks ago to look into reports of illegal aliens among those working in the oil spill clean-up effort, which he said was part of an overall effort by the Sheriff’s Office to prevent criminals from entering under the guise of doing legitimate work.

“We’re not worried about people who want to earn an honest buck,’’ Sheriff Stephens said. “But from the beginning (of the oil spill) we have been concerned about criminal elements coming into this area with the intention of establishing criminal enterprises,’’ the sheriff said.

“We make a distinction between those working here and those who have crime in mind when they come here,’’ Stephens said. “That happened after Hurricane Katrina and we don’t want it to happen again. We’re concerned illegal aliens with criminal records represent a danger to our parish.’’

He said the Sheriff’s Office has set up checkpoints throughout the areas affected by the oil spill and has been working with law enforcement agencies from throughout coastal Louisiana on a credentialing system for employees of BP subcontractors being sent in for clean-up efforts.

BP would be responsible for making sure its subcontracting employees had background checks to look for criminal records, as well as having workers photographed and finger-printed, the sheriff said.

“We have a good working relationship with ICE,’’ the immigration agency, Sheriff Stephens said. The Sheriff’s Office asked them weeks ago to check on reports of illegal aliens coming in as part of oil spill clean-up efforts because that agency has the resources to find out whether someone might have criminal records in other countries or gang affiliations, Sheriff Stephens said.


Sheriff’s deputies and parish government worker rescue elderly woman in Chalmette fire; call Fire Dept.

St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s deputies, David Culpepper and Jonathan Smith, took part in recuing a 79-year-old woman from a fire at 2100 Rosetta Drive in Chalmette early on the morning of Tuesday, June 8. They are flanked by family members Dean Martin and Michelle Martin of Chalmette, whose aunt, Lorraine Rayes, was rescued, and Robert Cochran and Joseph Perry III, who live at the residence and are related to Rayes. Behind them is the heavily damaged residence, where the fire was believed to have started in the attached garage. STEVE CANNIZARO PHOTO.  

Jun 8, 2010 - Two St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s deputies and a parish government employee rescued a 79-year-old woman from a fire in a Chalmette residence early Tuesday morning and the Fire Department extinguished the blaze without damage to surrounding houses.

Deputies Jonathan Smith and David Culpepper, as well as Louis Pomes, assistant director of Public Works for St. Bernard Parish government, were the first on the scene of the 8 a.m. fire that heavily damaged a home at 2100 Rosetta Drive, just east of Paris Road.

It was Smith and Pomes who entered the home and rescued Lorraine Rayes, 79, from a back room while the house was ablaze. Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann commended Smith and Culpepper for their efforts, saying they acted quickly and unselfishly to help during the emergency.
Several people, including Rayes and her sister, Carol Pertuit, 70, live at the residence and all were evacuated safely, as well as two dogs. Fire Department investigators believe the fire started in an attached garage of the brick home.
Culpepper and Smith, who both have worked about two years in the Corrections Division of the Sheriff’s Office, were driving on East St. Bernard Highway when they noticed the smoke and hurried to the scene, finding the house engulfed in flames. “You could see the flames from the corner,’’ said Culpepper, who was the first to notice the fire. Pomes was with a work crew on a nearby street and also went to see about the blaze.

While the Fire Department was called, Smith and Pomes learned from others at the scene that an older woman was still inside and they went in to find her.

“When we pulled up you could see flames in the front window,’’ Smith said afterward. “I didn’t know how much time we had’’ before it would have been impossible to go in the house because of the smoke and fire.

Pomes said it was very smoky inside but he and Smith found Lorraine Rayes in a back room, where she was in distress. “She couldn’t move. He (Smith) and I picked her up’’ including a portable chair she uses, and carried her outside. “The deputy was very brave.’’

Pomes added, “The house went up very fast.’’

The Fire Department arrived quickly, preventing the blaze from spreading to adjoining houses, and had the fire under control within 20 minutes, authorities said.

Michelle Martin of Chalmette, whose mother is Purtuit, 70, land Rayes is her aunt, said her mother had to be taken to a doctor for treatment of an eye injury received in the fire. Her aunt was also be examined by a doctor, Martin said.

“We are so appreciative of everything that was done’’ for the family, Martin said.


Winds and rain cuts swath across Arabi; damaging houses and businesses, blowing over trees on homes and spawning lightning which starts fire; No injuries

Workers on the roof of a home in the 100 block of Perrin Drive in Arabi cut branches to remove a large white oak tree that landed on the house when it was uprooted during heavy winds and rain the afternoon of June 4. No one was injured in the incident. Also, Thong Nguyen cleans up, framed by the empty space where a glass door blew out at the Artistic Nails salon in the 7400 block of West Judge Perez Drive in Arabi, during the bad weather. STEVE CANNIZARO PHOTOS


Jun 4, 2010 - Heavy winds and rain cut a swath across Arabi on Friday, June 4, damaging houses and businesses, blowing over trees including an oak that landed square on a home, and spawning lightning which set a residence on fire, as well as knocked out electricity to parts of Arabi and Chalmette, Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

No one was injured in the bad weather that took place during a mid-afternoon storm. Winds were clocked at more than 55 mph at the time.

Some of the worst-hit areas were along Schnell Drive, Perrin Drive and the 7400 block of West Judge Perez Drive, all in Arabi.

In the 1900 block of Schnell, lightning struck a home, causing moderate structural damage and water damage. No one was home at the time and the St. Bernard Parish Fire Department extinguished the blaze.

Trees and power lines were blown down on Schnell and Perrin and an air-conditioner was flipped over and shingles blown off roofs in the 1500 block of Schnell, Pohlmann said.

An oak tree was uprooted and fell directly onto a home owned by Janice Bell in the 100 block of Perrin Drive, damaging the roof. The owner wasn’t there at the time. Residents of the area said windows were rattling in houses and there was a loud noise at the time the tree fell over.

On West Judge Perez Drive a glass front door was blown out at the Artistic Nails salon and a large sign was blown down in the same strip mall at another business, Tobacco Products. Other businesses were also damaged in the area.

Electricity to parts of Arabi and Chalmette was out for several hours.




3 adults, teen booked with 127 pieces of crack found in home search, along with ammo for assault rifles

Brian Benson-26,  Thelma Lee-27, Brandin Johnson-22. Above Right, individually wrapped 127 pieces of cocaine and a small amount of powdered cocaine found in a search warrant executed at the house at 2213 Mehle Avenue in Arabi, along with ammunition for assault rifles and drug paraphernalia for package and sale of the cocaine.

June 2, 2010 - Three adults and a 15-year-old male were arrested in the seizure of 127 pieces of crack cocaine found by St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s detectives and SWAT team members who served a search warrant at their residence in Arabi before dawn on Wednesday, June 2, Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Also found was ammunition for assault rifles and drug paraphernalia used to package and sell the cocaine, Pohlmann said, but an assault rifle suspected of being in the house at 2213 Mehle Avenue wasn’t there, Pohlmann said.

He said two men and a woman were arrested, as well as the 15-year-old, who was wearing a house arrest ankle bracelet, apparently mandated from a previous arrest in New Orleans. One of the men, Brian Benson, 26, had been arrested for murder in San Antonio, TX, in 2006 but the charges were later dropped. He has also been convicted of drug charges in the past, authorities said.

Also arrested with Benson on June 2 were Thelma Lee, 27, and a relative of hers, Brandin Johnson, 22. The juvenile, who has a history of armed robbery and felony possession of stolen property, including a stolen vehicle, was taken to the St. Bernard juvenile Detention Center.

All of the suspects, who all had previous arrest records, were booked with possession with intent to distribute the crack cocaine, which was individually wrapped as 127 pieces, and a small amount of powdered cocaine. The street value of the cocaine was estimated at about $2,000, Pohlmann said.

The adults were also booked with possession of controlled dangerous substances in the presence of a minor – a young son of Lee at the residence was given over to the custody of a relative after his mother’s arrest, Pohlmann said. They were also booked with possession of drug paraphernalia.

The adults were booked into St. Bernard Parish Prison but no bond had been set pending an appearance before a judge.

All of the adults and the 15-year-old, whose wasn’t released because he is a minor, had previously lived in New Orleans but some have been at the Arabi address for several years, Pohlmann said.

He said sheriff’s detectives, commanded by Chief of Detectives Col. John Doran, will also investigate the recovery of several credit cards found at the residence.


New Orleans Police Detective arrested in St. Bernard Parish for domestic disturbance with Arabi woman

Douglas Butler, 46  

June 1, 2010 - A 13-year-veteran New Orleans police officer, Det. Douglas Butler, 46, was arrested in St. Bernard Parish on Sunday night, May 30, after a drunken domestic disturbance incident with an Arabi woman identified as his girlfriend, Sheriff Jack A. Stephens said.

Butler, a detective with the NOPD 1st District, was booked into the St. Bernard Parish Prison after the 11 p.m. incident in the 900 block of Perrin Drive in Arabi at the home of the woman, who called the Sheriff’s Office complaining that Butler was at her house banging on doors, yelling and cursing her, Sheriff Stephens said.

Butler, after an investigation, was booked with domestic abuse battery for allegedly spitting in the face of the 45-year-old woman when she told him she was calling the Sheriff’s Office, with domestic disturbance and with disturbing the peace by being intoxicated in public. He has been released on bond, but the amount wasn’t available.

New NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas said Tuesday, June 1, that Butler, who listed his address as 909 Congress St. in New Orleans, was suspended without pay and a preliminary investigation into the incident has been started by NOPD Public Integrity Investigators.

The woman told investigating sheriff’s deputies that Butler, whom she said has lived with her the majority of the time over the last two years, had been with her at a New Orleans bar earlier in the day but they had argued and she went home, Sheriff Stephens said. At about 10:50 p.m. that night she heard banging and yelling at her back door and, she said, it was Butler, who was demanding she open the door.
Butler then went to the front door, again banging and yelling, she said, claiming she opened the door and told him to leave or she would call the Sheriff’s Office. Butler said he didn’t care and spit in her face, the woman said.

When sheriff’s deputies arrived Butler acknowledged he was intoxicated and said he went there to retrieve his police radio from her and then would go home, the sheriff said.

A sheriff’s initial report of the incident said Butler was irate, acting belligerently and cursing officers before he was taken into custody.

Sheriff’s deputies retrieved Butler’s police radio and later turned it over to Butler’s ranking officer from NOPD, along with the keys to Butler’s unmarked police unit.

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