Iberville Sheriff Brett Stassi and West Baton Rouge Sheriff Mike Cazes announced that the Iberville and West Baton Rouge Interstate Criminal Enforcement Units had the largest synthetic marijuana drug bust in state history on August 1.
In a joint effort, the two agencies intercepted approximately $1.4 million of synthetic marijuana in a drug bust on Interstate 10 on Thursday, August 1.
“We work these interstates to make sure we do everything we can to keep our citizens free of this kind of marijuana,” said Stassi during a press conference Friday afternoon.
Sheriff unit stopped Kalid J. Jaber, 35, near the 149 mile post for speeding and careless operation at 8:40 p.m., according to a press release from the Iberville Sheriff’s Office.
After speaking with Jaber, deputies detected lies and inconsistencies in his travel journey. Checking the vehicle, deputies found bags of synthetic marijuana in view from a window, and subsequently searched the vehicle and confiscated approximately 325.5 pounds of synthetic marijuana from the vehicle.
Jaber was booked in West Baton Rouge Parish. The marijuana has a street value of $1.4 million.
“He had removed all of the back seats and the front seats out of the vehicle and had it crammed in it as tight as he could,” said Cazes during the press conference. “He had all intentions of going from New Orleans to his destination to sell $1.4 million worth of synthetic drugs – if he had made it through, they would have been on the streets today.”
The drugs’ packaging contained kid-friendly images of Scooby-Doo, and were labeled as potpourri.
“If you notice the packaging, it’s kid related. That’s the people they’re targeting,” said Stassi. “We’re going to target the people that are selling this stuff. We’re going to target the people that’s getting it. And we will not stop until we can eradicate it from our area.”
Stassi said that the investigation showed that the vehicle, a dark blue Dodge Caravan, came out of New Orleans and was going to be distributed between the Iberville/WBR area and Lafayette.
Stassi said that synthetic marijuana is often marketed toward children with Captain Crunch, Scooby Doo and other cartoon characters on packaging.
Cazes agreed and said that it is one of his personal goals to keep the drug off WBR streets.
“That’s my goal and that’s Sheriff Stassi’s goal is to get them off the streets while they’re either in Iberville of WBR parishes,” Cazes said.
Jaber was booked into the West Baton Rouge Parish Prison, where his bail was set at $1 million by Judge Alvin Batiste.
“The Interstate Criminal Enforcement Unit is a vital part of the commitment Sheriff Cazes and I have made to keeping drugs out of Iberville and West Baton Rouge Parishes,” said Stassi. “This is an example of effective and pro-active law enforcement that benefits all our residents."