THIBODAUX — Twenty-one people have been jailed in connection with an alleged heroin-distribution ring that stretched from New Orleans to Houston, and federal authorities say more arrests are coming.
Dubbed Operation Domino Effect, the probe started last year when a federal task force began monitoring the telephone conversations of John Domino Jr., 47, of Houma, and Marlon Williams, 34, of New Orleans, his alleged supplier, authorities said. They allegedly overheard Domino, Williams and other people “orchestrating and discussing numerous heroin transactions.”
Thomas Williams, 32, of Houston was the main source of supply, according to a news release from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment on the three July 8 on charges of possession with intent to distribute heroin, conspiracy to distribute heroin and money laundering.
Also indicted on the same charges were Latoya Jordan, 29, of Houston, Tremell Armstead, 32, of Houma, Jeffery Terrance Jr., 35, of New Orleans, Zerron Nealy, 37, of New Orleans, Corey Toliver, 30, of Houma, Herbert Keys III, 35, of New Orleans, and Brandon Turner, 32 of New Orleans.
Starting this week, authorities arrested a slew of people in multiple jurisdictions in connection with the investigation, including 10 in Terrebonne and three Lafourche, and seized a kilogram of heroin, three pounds of marijuana, two guns, a motorcycle, eight vehicles, $100,000 in cash, jewelry and three Houston homes.
Among those jailed:
- Giselle Babin, 32, 131 Dip Lane, Thibodaux, possession of drug paraphernalia, heroin distribution and use or possession of illgal drugs in the presence of a child. Bond was set at $525,000.
- Perry Bonvillain, 61, 167 Lebouef St., conspiracy to possess heroin.
- Shayna Boudwin, 44, 109 Opal St., Gray, conspiracy to possess heroin.
- Carlos Carchado, 39, 1905 Morris Ave., Houma, heroin distribution.
- Alyce Chauvin, 22, 108 St. George Court, Schriever, conspiracy to possess heroin.
- David Davis, 24, 112 Faith Trailer Court, Houma, conspiracy to possess heroin.
- James Davis, 27, also of 112 Faith Trailer Court, conspiracy to possess heroin.
- Crystal Duplantis, 25, 212 Division St., Bayou Blue, possession and intent to distribute heroin and use or possession of illgal drugs in the presence of a child.
- Keith Gaudet, 51, 107 Merrill Drive, Houma, two counts of oxycontin distribution.
- Jessica Jeblonksi, 28, 105 Helena Drive, Houma, principal to heroin distribution.
- Craig Prestenbach, 46, 212 Division St., Bayou Blue, possession of drug paraphernalia, cultivation of marijuana and possession of heroin.
- Sherill Rivet Jr., 47, 123 Holiday Drive, Houma, conspiracy to possess heroin.
- Paige Sanford, 25, 165 A Pitre St., Houma, conspiracy to possess heroin.
Heroin is derived from morphine and can either be a white or brown powder or a black sticky substance often called black-tar heroin. It can be injected, inhaled or smoked and is highly addictive.
Heroin possession, distribution and production used to carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. The law was changed in 2000, lowering the penalities to eight to 50 years in jail and fines of up to $50,000.
Senior Staff Writer Published: Friday, July 16, 2010 at 12:15 p.m.