5 arrested at Audubon Bridge illegal drugs checkpoint

Officers with the Delta Narcotics Task Force arrested a Marrero man who was about to cross the John James Audubon Bridge with a “rolling meth lab” Thursday night, a West Feliciana Sheriff’s Office spokesman said.

During the highway drug interdiction operation, officers also arrested three other people on drug counts and a man wanted on other charges in East Feliciana Parish, sheriff’s Maj. Archer Lee said.

Chad M. Blythe, 43, 104 Sunrise Drive, Marrero, was booked at the West Feliciana Parish Jail with creation or operation of a clandestine lab for the production of methamphetamines, Lee said.

Blythe, who was stopped on La. 10, had all of the ingredients used in making crystal meth in a cooler in his vehicle and was carrying lithium batteries in his pocket, Lee said. Strips of lithium are used in the production of the illegal drug.

“He had not started cooking it, but he had everything he needed, including scales for weighing it,” Lee said.

The task force officers also booked Dimitris J. Rucker, 35, St. Francisville; Roberto D. Johnson, 20, 5898 Street A, Hardwood; and Thomas J. Haile, 21, 9928 Street F, Hardwood, at the parish jail with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, Lee said.

Agencies in the task force are the East Baton Rouge, West Feliciana and Pointe Coupee sheriff’s offices, the Baker, Zachary and St. Francisville police departments and the Baton Rouge Constable’s Office.

Nathaniel Vessell, 28, 9100 Jones Vaughn Creek Road, was held as a fugitive from East Feliciana Parish, Lee said.