I-10 traffic stops lead to drug busts in WBR

Several traffic stops late Monday led to the arrests of four Florida residents on drug-related charges in West Baton Rouge Parish.

State Police made the first arrest after troopers pulled over Tavis Williams, 32, of Palatka, Florida, for improper lane usage about 2 a.m. Monday while he was driving eastbound on Interstate 10 near Port Allen, said Trooper 1st Class Jared Sandifer, a State Police spokesman.

During the traffic stop, troopers became suspicious of Williams and requested assistance from an officer with the Baton Rouge City Police Department’s K-9 unit to search his vehicle, Sandifer said.

Troopers found approximately 20 pounds of a mixed, powder substance containing suspected heroin, methamphetamine and ecstasy hidden in a duffle bag in the trunk of the car, Sandifer said.

He said the narcotics are the ingredients used to make a street drug commonly referred to as “Molly.” According to the Louisiana State Analytical and Fusion Exchange Center, the drugs found have a street value of $500,000.

As troopers searched Williams’ car, Sandifer said, officers pulled over another vehicle on a traffic violation that also was headed east on I-10.

Troopers discovered that the driver of that vehicle, Maurice J. Jackson, and his passengers, Cecil E. Saddler and Wilhelmina Foster, were working with Williams to transport narcotics, Sandifer said.

Jackson, 43, and Saddler, 53, both of Jacksonville, Florida, and Foster, 30, also of Palatka, were booked into the parish jail on possession with intent to distribute schedule I narcotics and attempt and conspiracy to distribute schedule I narcotics. Sandifer said Jackson was also booked on improper display of his license plate.

Williams was booked on improper lane usage, possession with intent to distribute schedule I narcotics and attempt and conspiracy to distribute schedule I narcotics.