Undercover detectives arrested a major supplier of crystal meth in Ascension Parish along with seven other people in a four-month, multiagency investigation that culminated this week, the Sheriff’s Office announced late Friday.
The investigation began in November as detectives focused on 27-year-old Christopher Zeringue, of Gonzales, a Sheriff’s Office news release says. Four months later, the investigation resulted in the seizure of $16,304 in cash and 1 pound, 10 ounces of methamphetamine, which the Sheriff’s Office estimates has a street value of $31,200.
During the investigation, undercover narcotics detectives purchased drugs from Zeringue a number of times, the release says.
But most of the action leading to the arrests appears to have occurred this week.
On Wednesday, detectives saw a person, later identified as Kendra Fung, of Hammond, drive away from Zeringue’s home on Rome Street, and when they followed Fung, they noticed the driver toss a plastic bag out the window.
Deputies pulled Fung over, found Adderall, clonazepam, and an ounce of methamphetamine in the vehicle and arrested her, the release says.
Detectives then searched Zeringue’s home, finding another ounce of methamphetamine and $4,404 in cash, the news release says.
Detectives had arranged a purchase with Zeringue’s supplier, Danny Mouton, of Baton Rouge, and Thursday morning, Mouton came to deliver methamphetamine to the detective on La. 30 near Interstate 10 in Gonzales, the release says. After the transaction, Gonzales police searched Mouton’s vehicle.
Two passengers in the vehicle, Timothy Mercer and Ronald McKinney, ran, and investigators found about 4 ounces of methamphetamine at the scene, the release says.
Detectives then arranged a purchase with Mouton’s supplier, Rene Eleazer Villa, known as “Mexico.” When Villa met detectives to make the transaction in a Gonzales location that was under surveillance, detectives “executed a felony takedown” on Villa and his passenger, Francisco Felix Rodriguez.
Detectives found 14 ounces of methamphetamine in Villa’s vehicle in plain sight, the release says.
With assistance from the Lafayette-area drug task force, detectives executed related search warrants in the Lafayette area Friday and arrested Adolfo Cruz, 25, who had 5 ounces of methamphetamine and $11,900 in cash, the release says.
Zeringue, 1204 E. Rome St., Gonzales; Mouton, 35, 1231 Hebert Ave., Breaux Bridge; Mercer, 48, 28913 Church of God Road, Springfield; McKinney, 27, 21866 Perrin Ferry Road, Springfield; Villa, 32, and Rodriguez, 31, both of 1033 Leblanc Drive, Henderson; and Cruz, 25, address unknown, were all booked into the Ascension Parish Jail between Wednesday and Friday on various drug-related counts.