Authorities: Canadian man caught with $3 million worth of cocaine

Authorities: Canadian man caught with $3 million worth of cocaine
(Source: Maranda Whittington / KPLC)
(Source: Maranda Whittington / KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A Canadian man was stopped with 219.5 pounds of cocaine, worth $3 million, on I-10 between Vinton and Sulphur Tuesday, authorities said.

Stephane Baril, a native of Quebec, was driving a pickup truck eastbound around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday when he was stopped by Cpl. Chad Booth and Sgt. Allen Desormeaux, with the Combined Anti-Drug Task Force (C.A.T.), according to a news release from Cmdr. James McGee, with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office. Baril was cited for a traffic violation.

Because Cpl. Booth found Baril to be overly nervous and acting in a suspicious manner, he requested permission to conduct a search of the truck, McGee said. Baril provided Cpl. Booth with written consent and allowed him to search the truck.

Cpl. Booth and Sgt. Desormeaux found approximately 80 large bundles of compressed powder cocaine in multiple luggage bags in the bed of the truck. The cocaine totaled 219.5 pounds with an estimated street value of over $3 million.

Officials held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss the details.

If produced into crack cocaine Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon explains how all of that cocaine could affect a city like Lake Charles.

"That could produce about 660,000 hits of crack cocaine just from this right here," said Dixon. "...Which means every man, woman, and child in the city of Lake Charles could smoke crack cocaine for eight days."

Baril was arrested on one count of cocaine possession over 400 grams. Bond has not yet been set.

While this is a victory for law enforcement, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso knows it's just a small one when it comes to the march larger war on drugs.

"This supply is off the street, but don't kid yourself and don't think that there's not another one coming through here at any moment," said Mancuso.

Mancuso said the C.A.T. Team will continue its investigation by trying to find out just where Baril was taking all of that cocaine.

Anyone that has a narcotics tip should call the tip line at 337-431-8001.

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