Police breakup suspected drug trafficking organization based in Slidell

Police breakup suspected drug trafficking organization based in Slidell
Police said they busted a heroin ring on the North Shore

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Detectives with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and troopers from Louisiana State Police concluded a lengthy investigation Wednesday (May 22) with numerous search warrants and arrests being made related to a drug trafficking organization based out of Slidell.

Detectives and troopers identified the leaders of the suspected organization organization as Jason Hotard and Kasey Johnson, along with their girlfriends Dawn Herbert and Turquoise Gillum.

The drug trafficking organization was responsible for the distribution of heroin and other controlled dangerous substances in St. Tammany Parish, Orleans Parish and in south Mississippi, officers said.

The investigation resulted in detectives and troopers identifying 32 other individuals as being part of the drug trafficking organization and having participated in the suspected criminal activity.

Officer identified dozens of people possibly involved in a drug ring on the North Shore
Officer identified dozens of people possibly involved in a drug ring on the North Shore (Source: LSP)

Arrests warrants were issued for all parties known to be involved, and on Wednesday morning, search warrants were executed at 11 different locations, both residences and businesses.

The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics provided resources and manpower to execute at least one search warrant in southern Mississippi. The Louisiana Department of Corrections – Division of Probation and Parole in addition to The Department of Homeland Security also assisted in executing arrest warrants.

The organization’s base of operation was identified as Roussell Towing, a Slidell-area towing business. The leaders would use this business to store and package large quantities of heroin and subsequently distribute the heroin throughout St. Tammany Parish, Orleans Parish and south Mississippi.

Through the course of the investigation, detectives and troopers uncovered a second business associated with this drug trafficking organization. That business, Aariel Recovery, was advertised as a substance abuse clinic and is co-owned by Herbert.

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