Sheriff: Drugs, guns seized after Bayou Vista stop

A 55-year-old man was arrested after a traffic stop in Bayou Vista where authorities seized multiple drugs and two handguns, St. Mary Parish Sheriff Blaise Smith said in a news release.

—Joseph Benoit, 55, of West 3rd Street in Iowa, was arrested at 10:51 a.m. Thursday on charges of speeding 11 to 15 mph, possession of marijuana, possession of Schedule I drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of THC wax, possession of legend drug without a prescription and two counts of possession of Schedule IV drugs.

A deputy was stationary on U.S. 90 in Bayou Vista when he observed a vehicle traveling east at a high rate of speed. The deputy conducted a traffic stop and made contact with the driver, Benoit. Through the investigation, drugs, drug paraphernalia, and guns were found.

Among the items seized were smoking pipes, two grinders, digital scale, 33 grams of marijuana, three cartridges of THC oil, three clonazepam pills, one alprazolam pill, five pieces of psilocybin, six gabapentin pills, a Glendel .380 handgun and Smith & Wesson M&P .45 handgun, Smith said. Benoit was booked into parish jail with no bail set.

Smith reported that deputies responded to 52 complaints and reported the following arrest relating to east St. Mary Parish:

—Jeremiah Jawayne Wiltz, 32, of Arlington Street in Bayou Vista, was arrested at 12:27 p.m. Thursday on charges of aggravated flight from an officer, no driver’s license and possession of stolen things.

At about noon Thursday, a deputy received information of a stolen vehicle in the Baldwin area. The deputy observed the vehicle at a business in Franklin a short time later.

The deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle when the driver sped up to evade the deputy. The driver, identified as Wiltz, was apprehended after a short vehicle pursuit, Smith said. He was jailed with no bail set.

Morgan City Police Chief James Blair reported that officers responded to 46 calls and reported the following arrests:

—Jesse Hart, 26, of Gabriel Street in Patterson, was arrested at 10:13 a.m. Thursday on a warrant charging him with contempt of court.

Officers came into contact with Hart near the intersection of La. 182 and Myrtle Street. A warrants check revealed city court had an active warrant for his arrest. He was jailed.

—Harold Hillard Ross, 38, of Railroad Avenue in Morgan City, was arrested at 3:40 p.m. Thursday on a fugitive warrant charging him with DWI third offense. Ross was located in city court and arrested on a warrant from Johnson County, Kansas. He was jailed.

—Brei Daymon Lynch, 19, of River Road in Berwick, was arrested at 8:01 p.m. Thursday on charges of proper equipment required on vehicles, left mirror required, possession of marijuana second offense and possession of drug paraphernalia.

An officer on patrol observed a vehicle commit a traffic violation in the area of La. 182 and Everett Street. The officer conducted a traffic stop and identified the driver as Lynch. During the traffic stop, Lynch was found in possession of suspected marijuana and drug paraphernalia, Blair said. He was jailed.

—Wayne Michael Escort, 30, of Orange Street in Morgan City, was arrested at 8:35 p.m. Thursday on a charge of criminal trespassing.

An officer came into contact with Escort on housing authority property on Egle Street. A computer check revealed Escort was previously barred from housing authority property. He was jailed.

Berwick Police Chief David Leonard Sr. reported the following arrests:

—Corey Taylor, 32, of Diane Drive in Morgan City, was arrested at 4:34 p.m. Thursday on a charge of reckless operation of a motor vehicle.

At about 4:20 p.m. Thursday, an officer observed a vehicle traveling off the La. 182 bridge at a high rate of speed and observed it run through several traffic signals. The vehicle continued to travel at a high rate of speed, Leonard said.

Officers were able to conduct a traffic stop and made contact with Taylor. Taylor was jailed and later posted $176 cash bail

—Tara Garcia, 50, of River Road in Berwick, was arrested at 8:30 p.m. Thursday on a charge of disturbing the peace intoxicated.

At about 8:06 p.m. Thursday, officers responded to a home on River Road. Upon arrival, police learned that Garcia was intoxicated and fighting with family members at the home, Leonard said. Garcia was jailed with bail set at $176.

Patterson Police Chief Garrett Grogan reported the following arrests:

—Brian J. Klein, 37, of Pecan Lane in Patterson, was arrested at 2:53 p.m. Thursday on charges of seat belt violation, no driver’s license and a warrant for the Bay County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office. Bail was set at $364 on the Patterson charges. No bail was set on the warrant.

—Raymond J. Miller, 29, of Vivian Street in Morgan City, was arrested at 3:32 p.m. Thursday on charges of failure to yield with an accident and no driver’s license. Bail was set at $544.

Franklin Police Chief Morris Beverly reported the following arrest relating to east St. Mary Parish:

—Erik Guillory, 32, of Rosemary Street in Patterson, was arrested at 3:59 p.m. Thursday on a warrant charging him with violation of protective order second offense. Guillory was jailed with no bail set.

ST. MARY NOW & FRANKLIN BANNER-TRIBUNE

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