Meth and cocaine indictments

Drug trafficking organization ‘shut down’ in Calcasieu, Beauregard parishes

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted nine people — including five from Calcasieu and Beauregard parishes and four Cuban illegal immigrants — on more than a dozen counts of distributing methamphetamine and cocaine throughout Southwest Louisiana, officials said at a news conference.

The Operation Cuban Ice investigation began more than a year ago, according to David Joseph, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana. He said the case shows how law enforcement agencies on all levels are working together “to target drug trafficking, wherever it is.”

“Under our watch, there will be no safe havens in Southwest Louisiana for drug traffickers, even in the most rural areas of this parish,” he said.

Joseph said the indictments have “shut down a significant drug trafficking organization” in the region.

He said more than $60,000 in cash and “hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of trucks, motorcycles, allterrain vehicles and boats” was seized during the investigation.

Indicted were Michael Miers, 56, of DeRidder; Zet Elizagarate, 56, of Lake Charles; and Gary S. Byrd, 47, Lionel Peschier, 48, and Angie Perez, 47, all of Sulphur. Those indicted from Cuba were Antonio Montero, 55; Julio Elizagarate, 67; Feliz Perez, 55; and Juan Gonzalez, 66. Joseph said they are subject to deportation orders.

The drug conspiracy and distribution counts could carry up to 20 years in prison, and one defendant faces up to 40 years in prison. They also face up to $5 million in fines.

Joseph said more people may be indicted.

Agencies that took part in the investigation include Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, State Police, Calcasieu District Attorney’s Office, Calcasieu Sheriff’s Office, Combined Anti-Drug Task Force, Beauregard Sheriff’s Office, Lake Charles police, Iowa police, DeRidder police.

””

US Attorney for Western District of Louisiana, David Joseph, speaks about 9 indictments in a drug case as LSP Sgt. James Anderson and CPSO Chief Deputy “Stitch” Guillory attend during a press conference at the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Thursday, September 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Lake Charles American Press, Kirk Meche)

Kirk Meche””

US Attorney for Western District of Louisiana, David Joseph, speaks about 9 indictments in a drug case as LSP Sgt. James Anderson and CPSO Chief Deputy “Stitch” Guillory attend during a press conference at the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Thursday, September 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Lake Charles American Press, Kirk Meche)

Kirk Meche””

Jere Miles, Homeland Security Supervisory Agent in charge out of New Orleans, speaks about 9 indictments in a drug case during a press conference at the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Thursday, September 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Lake Charles American Press, Kirk Meche)

Kirk Meche

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