Some $6,000 worth of drugs, including 45 grams of crystal meth and 12 grams of heroin, were found after two New Orleans men in a van made a turn without using a signal, then completely stopped on a side street in Arabi, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
Five grams of heroin were found on the driver, with a street value of at least $500, and the rest was inside a home security lock box in the van, for which agents of the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division obtained a search warrant from a judge before opening, the sheriff said.
Both Michael Belanger, 34, the driver, and passenger Harry Thrailkill, 53, were booked Nov. 18 with possession with intent to distribute crystal meth and heroin, as well as possession of some marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia which included numerous syringes and several scales, Sheriff Pohlmann said.
Belanger was also booked with no driver’s license, having a switched license plate, an expired inspection sticker and no proof of insurance.
Both are being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison – Belanger in lieu of $30,000 bond and Thrailkill in lieu of $25,000 bond.
SID agent Chelsea Soulagnet spotted the driver turn from Rowley Boulevard onto Alpaca Street in Arabi without using a turn signal. Then the van was stopped completely in the street.
A bag containing five grams of heroin was found on Belanger, as well as a syringe.
It was also determined the van had a license plate reported stolen earlier in the day from a vehicle in Violet.
When the home security lock box was located in the van, both men denied ownership and Belanger said he had found it in trash. But Belanger added, “if you open it I want a lawyer,’’ the sheriff said.
Agents could smell marijuana in the box and through an opening a powder-like substance and clear plastic bags were seen. Officers decided to get a search warrant from a judge to see what was inside.
In the lock box, agents found bags containing a total of 45 grams of crystal meth, worth at least $4,500 street value, and seven grams of heroin, with a street value of at least $700.