UPDATE: Three arrested on crack cocaine charges in Welsh
WELSH, LA (KPLC) - Following the arrest of some two dozen suspected drug dealers in Calcasieu Parish, known as Operation 27, comes another roundup.
This time it's in the town of Welsh.
After months of investigating, it took just 14 minutes to round up a group of suspected drug dealers and it all happened early this morning in Welsh.
Still dark, a number of law enforcement agencies went house to house executing search warrants just after five A.M. Friday.
In total, three houses were searched, netting three arrests.
33-year-old Marcus Pattum, 36-year-old Latroy Pattum, and 27-year-old Codia Walker were taken into custody without incident.
"This investigation started 8 months ago," said Welsh Police Chief, Marcus Crochet.
While authorities credit the cooperation between Welsh, Jennings and Lake Charles Police, to SWAT, the Jeff Davis Sheriff's Office and District Attorney, they also commend the public.
"They're calling in complaints, they're giving information and we're not going to stop," said Crochet.
And the continued efforts of cracking down on drugs is already making an impact on the town of Welsh.
"I'm really gratified to know there's been a restoration in faith and trust in our area and citizens are getting more involved and I think this shows when you have citizens involved and cooperating, good things happen, and we can make our community safer and drugfree," said Michael Cassidy, Jeff Davis District Attorney.
Although it takes time to build narcotic cases like these, authorities hope today's crackdown sends a clear message to criminals.
"If you buy or sell narcotics in the city of Welsh, eventually we will catch you. It may not be today, it may not be next month, it may be 8 months from now, but eventually you're going to get caught," added Crochet.
The three arrested are facing charges of distribution of crack cocaine and possession, among others, and were booked at the Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff's Jail.
Authorities say they also found a large amount of narcotics and drugs in the three homes, which were sent to a lab for testing.
Marcus Pattum, 33, is facing charges of possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, cocaine possession, marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and money laundering (transactions involving proceeds of criminal activity).
Walker, 27, is facing two counts of distribution of crack cocaine, crack cocaine possession with intent to distribute, drug (Schedule IV) possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and drug possession in presence of juveniles.
Letroy Pattum, 36, will be charged with possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, cocaine possession, money laundering (transactions involving proceeds of criminal activity) and drug possession in presence of juveniles.
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