Authorities make separate drug busts on I-10

By Special to the American Press

Three men have been arrested and charged with drug offenses following traffic stops on Interstate 10, authorities said.

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kim Myers said Detective Cpl. Chris Johnson with the Combined Anti-Drug Task Force made both busts, which occurred in a six-hour span.

Myers said 47-year-old Benjamin L. Mitchell, of Houston, was stopped Thursday night while traveling eastbound on I-10 between Vinton and Sulphur.

Johnson found over 5 pounds of marijuana, worth $10,000, in the trunk of Mitchell’s car, Myers said.

Mitchell was charged with possession of CDS I with intent to distribute. His bond is pending.

Myers said 57-year-old Ace D. Smith, of Houston, fled when Johnson attempted to conduct a stop early Friday morning near the I-10 Bridge.

“During the pursuit, Smith and his passenger, Anthony D. Brown, of Monroe, began disposing of a white powdery substance, along with an unknown liquid, out of the windows of the car,” Myers said. “The car finally stopped at near the I-210/Lake Charles Loop.

“During a search of the pursuit path, detectives recovered approximately 1 kilogram of powder cocaine, with an estimated street value of $60,000. During further investigation, detectives discovered Smith and Brown attempted to dissolve the cocaine in an unknown liquid and dispose of it by throwing it out of the window to avoid recovery during the pursuit.”

Smith and Brown, 35, were charged with possession of CDS II over 400 grams, flight from an officer and obstruction of justice.

Their bonds are still pending.