CAT team makes two drug busts on I-10

The Combined Anti-Drug Task Force (C.A.T. Team) recently made two drug busts on I-10.

According to a news release from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, Detective Cpl. Chris Johnson with team, stopped a car traveling eastbound on I-10 between Vinton and Sulphur on Thursday at approximately 8:45 p.m. for a traffic violation.

Authorities said during the traffic stop, the driver of the car, Benjamin L. Mitchell, 47, of Houston, Texas, began to act suspiciously.

After receiving consent from Mitchell, authorities said Johnson conducted a search of the car and recovered a back pack in the trunk of the car containing over five pounds of marijuana wrapped in cellophane. The marijuana has an estimated street value of approximately $10,000, authorities said.

Mitchell was arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center and charged with possession of CDS I (marijuana) with intent to distribute.

Mitchell's bond has been set at $60,000 by Judge Ware.

Authorities said Johnson attempted to conduct another stop of a car traveling eastbound at the base of the I-10 Bridge on Friday, at approximately 1 a.m. regarding a traffic violation.

Authorities said Johnson signaled for the driver to pull over, the driver, later identified as Ace D. Smith, 57, of Houston, Texas, did not comply and tried to flee.

During the pursuit, Smith and a passenger, later identified as Anthony D. Brown, 35, of Monroe, tried to dispose of a white powdery substance and an unknown liquid out of the windows of the car, finally stopping near the I-210/Lake Charles Loop.

Authorities said during a search of the pursuit path, detectives recovered approximately 1 kilo of powder cocaine, with an estimated street value of $60,000.

During further investigation, detectives reportedly discovered that Smith and Brown attempted to dissolve the cocaine in an unknown liquid and dispose of it by throwing it out of the window to avoid recovery during the pursuit.

Due to the possible hazards associated with the liquid, the Lake Charles Fire Department was dispatched and washed the substance off the roadway.

Authorities said Smith and Brown were arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center and charged with possession of CDS II (cocaine) over 400 grams, flight from an officer and obstruction of justice.

The bonds on Brown and Smith are $215,000. Both bonds were set by Judge Ware.

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