18 arrested during warrant sweep

18 arrested during warrant sweep
(SOURCE: Ken Pastoreck, DOC)

It was a not-so-pleasant surprise Tuesday morning for criminals who have violated their probation or parole.

The Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Probation and Parole Officers, along with local law enforcement, arrested 38 people as part of a massive warrant sweep in Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis parishes.

The 82 people they were searching for were on probation or parole for various crimes like armed robbery, battery, distribution and possession of drugs and burglary and theft.

"With an operation this size and magnitude, our department alone can't handle it, so without their support and their assistance we would not have been able to have the success we had today," said Probation and Parole Supervisor Leland Hughes.

More than 75 officers arrested 18 of the fugitives during the roundup. Twenty were picked up within the last few days leading up to the sweep.

Hughes says there were no instances of violence today, but there is a reason to prepare.

"There are times that we do encounter resistance or violence when we take somebody's freedom away from them and then there are a lot of times where we don't, fortunately, but we do have to prepare for the worst," said Hughes.

This team found two of the violators they sought.

One man allegedly absconded from his parole for third-offense domestic abuse.

"When the team located him, he was in a medical condition that prevented us from making an arrest," said Hughes. "While we are trying to clear warrants and make arrests, we also need to use common sense and his condition prevented us from being able to move him from the home and take him to the jail. Instead, we instructed him to come to the office tomorrow and we're going to seek other methods of getting him back on track and possibly may be able to recall the warrant rather than put his medical condition possibly in further jeopardy by incarcerated."

But they were able to make another arrest, despite the challenge of remaining stealthy.

"It's a phenomenon that's like gravity and like oxygen which is something we live with," said Hughes. "It's very difficult to be stealthy. It's very difficult to conduct in these types of operations without the word getting out very quickly."

There are currently 500 warrants the Lake Charles office is trying to tackle.

These mass round-ups are a yearly occurrence, with smaller sweeps happening all the time.

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