Patterson man enters drug court
By PRESTON GILL
FRANKLIN — A Patterson man who Berwick police say ate some of the marijuana in his possession during a March 5 traffic stop has escaped prison time by entering the 16th Judicial District drug court program and paying a fine of $100 along with other associated court costs.
Keilo Edwards, 22, pleaded guilty here before 16th Judicial District Judge Edward Leonard Jr. on Sept. 17 to possession with intent to distribute marijuana and was put on five years of supervised probation after suspending the imposition of a sentence.
Berwick police said Edwards was stopped in a vehicle without a lighted license plate after he pulled out in front of a patrol car. Edwards was chewing on a green leafy substance while they were investigating the traffic charges and his breath smelled of marijuana, the report said.
Edwards later admitted eating about a gram of the pot from a baggie which had fallen out of his vehicle that police officers located, the arrest affidavit said. More wrapped suspected marijuana was located under the seat and in the driver’s side door along a digital scale with marijuana residue on it, police said.
Police said they removed $926 from his pocket and seized his cell phone. The arrest report said the cell phone had “several text messages concerning drug transactions and multiple photographs with large amounts of” bagged marijuana.
Edwards was booked on the charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, obstruction of justice (for eating part of the evidence) and no license plate light. The district attorney agreed not to prosecute Edwards on the other charges in the plea agreement.
In addition to his fine, Edwards will forfeit property seized in his arrest, pay $60 a month to the drug court probation department to defray the cost of supervising his probation, $100 to the Berwick Police Department for the cost of the investigation, a prosecution fee of $250 and fees to other court programs.
Another man was spared prison time by Leonard in an unrelated drug distribution case earlier in the month.
Michael Burden, 40, of St Joseph, was sentenced to eight years in prison on Sept. 9, but his sentence was suspended. Burden was put on four years of supervised probation and fined $2,000 along with associated court costs. He was ordered to perform 60 hours of community service.
St. Mary Parish sheriff’s officers located crack cocaine and a razor blade with cocaine residue on it in his bedroom and a burnt marijuana joint in one of his vehicles during the execution of a March 19 “no knock” warrant, an arrest report said. The report also said police found a digital scale outside under a dog cage and a shotgun under some debris.
Titus Guilbeaux, 20, also was arrested in the incident and charged with possession of a legend drug without a prescription and battery on a police officer. Police said Guilbeaux spat on a detective.
The drug bust was executed after an unnamed reliable informant told police marijuana was being sold from the Easy Street residence, a sheriff’s office report said. Police-marked money was given to the informant who negotiated and completed a marijuana purchase at the residence that was monitored with an audio transmitter on the informant, the report said.
In other district court drug-related cases:
—Lester Oseguera, 29, of Morgan City, was given a five-year suspended sentence and put on five years of supervised probation after he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine. He was fined $1,200, ordered to pay associated court costs and to perform 80 hours of community service.
Oseguera, who had also been charged with operating a vehicle without lawful presence in the United States and resisting a police officer with force, was remanded into custody by Leonard.
Assistant District Attorney Anthony Saleme said the district attorney’s office does not prosecute operating a vehicle without lawful presence cases because the statute’s constitutionality is being reviewed. He said defendants accused of being in the United States illegally are held and turned over to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, allowing the agency to choose whether to deport.
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s office had responded to a March 10 one-vehicle crash in Amelia in which a Mitsubishi Montero Sport appeared to have rolled over and had a caved-in windshield, a police report said.
Oseguera was uncooperative during the investigation and became combative during a pat down which was complicated by a language barrier, the report said.
Police said a small bag of suspected cocaine was located in Oseguera’s pocket and he violently pulled away and attempted to flee. After being taken down to the ground and detained, Oseguera was transported to Teche Regional Medical Center for minor abrasions which police said were incurred during the crash.
The district attorney’s office agreed not to prosecute the resisting a police officer with force charge.
—Jamone Elaire, 29, of Lafayette, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He was given a sentence of five years in prison with hard labor.
Baldwin police said Elaire contacted a Baldwin police officer pumping gas in Lafayette and offered to sell him $1,000 worth of drugs. The officer was wired with audio and video to record the transaction that occurred in the Dollar General parking lot in Baldwin, the police report said.