Feds announce bust of violent drug ring in BR, Ascension
BATON ROUGE - Federal authorities unsealed an indictment Thursday against 39 people who investigators claim were part of a "violent" drug trafficking network which used a daycare to store and distribute cocaine in the Baton Rouge and Ascension Parish areas.
The indictments, part of "Operation Third World," charged the more than three dozen defendants with drug trafficking, racketeering, firearm and conspiracy charges.
The U. S. Attorney's Office said some of the defendants were accused of violent acts such as taking part in a murder plot, or threatening to cut off someone's fingers with a hatchet. Agents said at one point the trafficking ring used a child to help transport nearly 40 pounds of cocaine.
Authorities said when some defendants were recently arrested agents seized cocaine, a stolen AR-15 rifle, a shotgun, three handguns, and a "substantial" amount of cash believed to have come from drug sales. Agents previously seized six weapons and more than $150,000 in cash as part of Operation Third World.
U. S. Attorney Walt Green called the operation historic on Thursday, saying it was the largest number of individuals they've named in one indictment. Click here to read the names of the people indicted.
Click HERE to read more about the daycare and what the WBRZ News 2 Investigative Unit learned about the business Thursday.