Murder plots, using children to transport drugs, storing cocaine at a Baton Rouge day care center — those are among the allegations in an indictment of 39 people in what federal prosecutors are calling a “violent drug trafficking” network out of Baton Rouge and Ascension parishes.
U.S. Attorney Walt Green on Thursday announced the unsealing of the 58-page indictment, which alleges cocaine was being stored at Emmanuel Child Development and Learning Center, 1384 Swan Ave., Baton Rouge, and threats were made to use a hatchet to cut off the fingers of a man who owed money.
Those arrested, ranging in age from 20 to 57, include Demitoris “Big Tachi” Alexander, 49, and his son, Tachi J. Williams, 29, both of Gonzales, who were both arrested last year in an Ascension Parish homicide described as a “retaliatory slaying” in which nearly 50 shots were fired. The two, who allegedly had pulled up to the scene in a gold Porsche, face counts of second-degree murder, among others.
The defendants in the 29-month drug ring investigation, dubbed “Operation Third World,” are accused of planning sales of drugs, including Ecstasy, cocaine and marijuana, in 2013.
Some of the drugs traveled through Houston but likely have connections to Latin America, said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Joseph Shepherd.
“I want to equate this to cancer. It was an insidious group that was infecting Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas,” Shepherd said. “We’re the doctors. We’re the surgeons. So we diagnosed the problem.”
The operation took months of work by multiple agencies.
Though 39 people were charged in the indictment, only 38 were arrested, as one defendant, D’Andre Smith, was gunned down the day of the indictment.
During the most recent arrest, agents confiscated a stolen AR-15, cocaine, three handguns and cash believed to be proceeds from drug trade. During a previous operation, agents found more than $150,000 in cash.
The accused are:
Kelly D. Williams, 39, Baton Rouge
Charles C. London, 39, Baton Rouge
C’Prien C. Nicholas, 30, Gonzales
Artey D. Foulcard, 36, Franklin
Sylvester S. Smith, 35, Houston
Myron Chevelle Hart, 37, Baker
Donald Sanders Jr., 38, Gonzales
Derrick D. Hilliard, 38, Baton Rouge
Willie C. Lewis, 37, Baton Rouge
Sekari Davis Washington, 37, Zachary
Christopher Montrell Cooper, 21, Baton Rouge
Clarence White, 51, Baton Rouge
Vernon A. Powell, 34, Baton Rouge
Devon D. Foster, 36, Baton Rouge
Kenneth W. Gardner, 57, Zachary
Eric O’Neal Selders, 43, Independence
James Edward Allen, 32, Baton Rouge
Colin Y. Knox, 37, Baton Rouge
Dwan M. Delavallade, 38, Baton Rouge
Kelvin Ronelle Johnson, 37, Baton Rouge
Demarcus D. Norris, 38, Baton Rouge
Gerry Earl Griffin, 44, Baton Rouge
Kimberly Ann London, 37, Baton Rouge
Gregory C. Walker, 51, Donaldsonville
D’Andre Tavis Smith, deceased
Jeremy James Washington, 36, Donaldsonville
Rudy McVay Cain II, 28, Gonzales
Myron Derell Mills, 35, Gonzales
Johnny C. Alexander, 34, Baton Rouge
Andrea Rose Rumore, 33, Thibodaux
Stephanie A. Zeringue, 28, Thibodaux
Susan Lynn Zeringue, 32, Thibodaux
Ashley H. Hebert, 26, Thibodaux
Joseph D. Sergent, 34, New Orleans
Keeyon Mondrell Sanders, 33, Baton Rouge
Jerron Albritton, 20, Baton Rouge
Barbara Deyatta Jordon, 25, Baton Rouge.
Working on the investigation were the U.S. Attorney’s Office; U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Louisiana State Police; Baton Rouge Police Department; the sheriff’s offices in West Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Iberville and Livingston parishes; and the Gonzales and Baker Police departments.