A DeRidder man is awaiting sentencing after his conviction last week for not only beating and holding a victim against his will, but also for running an illegal narcotics operation out of his home.
Jeffery Lynn Cooley, 46, was convicted by a jury on charges of armed robbery, aggravated battery, second-degree kidnapping, and several drug-related charges stemming from a 2017 incident where a male victim seeking medical care at a Vernon Parish hospital told authorities he had been beaten and held at knife-point by Cooley inside Cooley’s home.
According to incident reports, the victim suffered severe injuries to his face, jaw and neck areas and reported that he had been struck by Cooley and an accomplice with a metal baseball bat. He said Cooley had also held a knife to his throat and cut him numerous times.
The victim, who was later identified as an informant to state police, told investigators that Cooley had forced him to remove his clothing as they searched him for “a wire” and then beat the victim while others in the home filmed the incident on their cell phones.
The investigation revealed to authorities that Cooley was distributing large amounts of illegal narcotics throughout Beauregard and Vernon Parishes, and identified Cooley’s residence on La. 27 as a distribution point. The victim said he had been lured to the residence because he owed Cooley $200, but that in reality they had learned of his informant status.
Upon the execution of a search warrant, narcotics task force detectives located several areas of what was later determined to be blood from the victim inside the residence, along with his clothing and speakers removed from the victim’s vehicle while he was held inside the residence.
The search for Cooley lasted 33 days and involved multiple incidents of Cooley fleeing from deputies and investigators. He was ultimately arrested on Sept. 11, 2017 by Calcasieu Parish authorities where he received additional narcotics charges for the possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
Cooley’s criminal record contains multiple arrests for narcotics-based charges dating back to 1998.
He will be facing a potential habitual offender sentence enhancement filed against him by the Beauregard Parish District Attorney’s Office.
That hearing is scheduled for Oct. 23 before Judge Martha Ann O’Neal.