19 arrested, 13 sought in Louisiana heroin operation run from towing business

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SLIDELL, La. (KLFY) – (5/23/19) Wednesday morning, deputies executed search warrants at 11 locations, both residential and comercial, including one in Mississippi. 

Smith anounced the arrests, the capture of two dozen guns and the seizure of half a kilo of heroin later that morning. 

The drug ring was running out of Slidell, according to information released by the sheriff’s office Wednesday morning. Investigators identified the leaders of the organization as Jason Hotard and Kasey Johnson, along with their girlfriends Dawn Herbert and Turquoise Gillum. 

The organization’s base of operation was identified as Roussell Towing, a towing business located on Hardin Road. 

According to authorities, the leaders would use this business to store and package large quantities of heroin and subsequently distribute the heroin throughout St. Tammany and Orleans parishes and south Mississippi.

Ariel Recovery, a Slidell business which was advertised as a substance abuse clinic co-owned by Herbert, was also associated with the crime ring by investigators.

“People have been asking what we’re doing to combat the heroin epidemic. This is what we’re doing,” Smith said. “I think this is just the beginning.”

“These types of drug trafficking organizations will be vigorously prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office in collaboration with our law enforcement partners,” said District Attorney Warren Montgomery. “Like we have done since we took office in 2015, we will continue to pursue those who distribute these poisonous substances in our community and elsewhere. No matter where they try to hide out, they will be pulled into this parish and brought to justice.

Smith said the recent epidemic of heroin overdoses resulted in 80 deaths in St. Tammany alone in 2018.

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