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American Forces Press Service

Louisiana Guard Assists Police in $2 Million Drug Bust

By Army Sgt. Noshoba Davis Louisiana National Guard

PINEVILLE, La., Feb. 16, 2017 – The Louisiana National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force providing an aviation asset in assisting several law enforcement agencies in removing nearly $2 million worth of drugs from the streets of Alexandria, Louisiana, last month.

After a month-long investigation into alleged illegal drug activity, Derrick Felton, 37, of Alexandria, was arrested for possession of nearly 70 pounds of illegal narcotics and a large amount of cash.

The street value of the drugs seized Jan. 27 was around $1.7 million, to include: approximately $1.5 million worth of crystal methamphetamine, nearly $120,000 worth of heroin, more than $100,000 worth of cocaine and nearly $3,000 worth of promethazine syrup. Investigators also seized over $67,000 in cash.

Command, Control Resources

Aviation operations with the LANG's CDTF supported the mission with one UH-72 Lakota helicopter. The enhanced communications and specialized technology onboard the Lakota provided additional support to the Louisiana State Police with its increased command and control resources. This helped law enforcement safely conduct the counterdrug operation that lead to the seizure and arrest of Felton.

The mission of the LANG CDTF is to provide highly skilled soldiers and airmen, specialized equipment and facilities as requested by law enforcement agencies and community based organizations in response to a changing drug threat.

"Working counterdrug is no easy task but can come with gratifying moments by affecting organizations who historically use illegal narcotics trafficking to fund their terrorist networks and insurgent operations," said Army Capt. Marshall Snowden, counterdrug coordinator for the Louisiana National Guard.

The LANG CDTF provides assistance to support local, state and federal law enforcement agencies throughout Louisiana by helping to reduce the demand for drugs through education programs, working with community action groups and serving as role models for at-risk youths.

"Narcotics are not discriminatory and can have an effect on anyone; families, friends or acquaintances. Any time we can disrupt and curtail illicit drugs and keep them off the streets and out of our kids' hands, we are winning," said Snowden, a counterdrug aviation operations pilot.

The LANG's Counterdrug aviation operation flew 375 hours and completed 118 missions in support of civilian law enforcement's efforts to combat illicit narcotic operations throughout 2016.

Agencies involved in and responsible for the investigation include the Louisiana State Police, Alexandria Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI Central Louisiana Safe Streets Task Force), Louisiana Probation and Parole, United States Postal Inspector's Office, Pineville Police Department, Louisiana Army National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office and the Grant Parish Sheriff's Office.

According to the Louisiana State Police, the investigation remains ongoing and more arrests are likely.

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