- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

HOUMA, La. (AP) - Authorities say nearly $470,000 worth of cocaine seized from the plane of a Texas man who landed at a Louisiana airport is believed to have originated in Mexico.

Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter tells The Courier (https://bit.ly/1iYzK7m) 29-year-old John Crow was headed toward the East Coast from his home in Brownsville, Texas, when he landed at the airport, in Schriever, to refuel.

Larpenter says federal and state authorities arrested Crowe Monday 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.”


Information from: The Courier, https://www.houmatoday.com

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