CARENCRO — Law enforcement agencies from four parishes arrested 110 people and seized about $45,000 worth of narcotics during a four-day drug sting last week that netted about three pounds of marijuana, 70 grams of meth and other illegal substances, authorities said Wednesday.
Results of the multiagency investigation, which was dubbed “Operation: Ghostbusters,” were announced in Carencro on Wednesday morning. The operation involved 13 local and state agencies and was headed by Lafayette’s Metro Narcotics Task Force from Oct. 28-31.
It’s the third multiparish bust this year and the fifth since May 2013.
More than 80 percent of the seizures in the operation were marijuana — about three pounds worth with a street value of more than $26,000, according to law enforcement figures.
About $14,000 worth of meth was seized, and it constituted 4 percent of the confiscated substances, the figures state, along with 141 prescription-grade pills, 9 grams of crack, 0.8 grams of cocaine and one ecstasy pill.
“We’re keeping these drug dealers on their toes,” Carencro Police Chief Carlos Stout said.
Along with the 41 citations written and four guns seized, authorities also took in 62 grams of synthetic cannabinoids, a substance Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said is becoming a major public health issue resulting in an average of one emergency room visit a day in Lafayette.
“This stuff is killing our kids,” Craft said, noting the drug often causes psychotic episodes, seizures and kidney failure. “We’re hoping to get this stuff off the streets.”
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday enacted a parishwide ban on the misbranded drugs, which are marketed as potpourri — such as “Mojo” or “Spice” — but are sprayed with chemicals that get users high.
The ordinance comes a week after Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals banned a new element of the compound Oct. 29 after more than 125 Baton Rouge area residents sought emergency treatment after ingesting the drug.
The chemicals are a variant of a research drug created in 1995 to mimic the effects of cannabis, said Capt. John Kahl, who heads the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office’s criminal and narcotics division, which participated in last week’s drug bust.
However, he said, referring to it as “synthetic cannabis” is a misnomer.
“When it was synthetic marijuana, we weren’t having these problems,” he said.
Also involved in the operation were the Opelousas, Crowley, Lafayette, Scott, Broussard, Carencro and Duson police departments; Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office; Lafayette City Marshal’s Office; Louisiana State Police; and the state department of Probation and Parole.
Follow Lanie Lee Cook on Twitter, @lanieleecook.