GRAND ISLE, LA (WVUE) - Grand Isle Fire Chief Aubrey "T-Black" Chaisson and 19 others were arrested following a six month drug sting, according to Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand.
The undercover operation involved officers from Jefferson Parish, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office and the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.
Chaisson, 40, was one of two firefighters arrested for possession of marijuana. Patrick Santiny, 50, was also booked with possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Chaisson also faces an outstanding attachment for contempt of court.
Officials said they learned personnel with the fire department were using and selling drugs, along with a number of other people in the community.
All of the arrests individually cross a range of various charges.
"What we have marijuana, diazepam, we've got Vyvantz. I think there's some cocaine cases. We have no evidence of this at the present time is whether or not there was drug consumption while on duty. We don't know," Normand said.
Deputies started rounding up suspects around 1 a.m. on Thursday. Some were taken to the government building where the Jefferson Parish sheriff's command post was set up for questioning. Residents said it is the most intense police activity they have seen in the community in a long time.
Wherever you go on the way island, people said the crackdown was long overdue. Resident said drugs are a big problem in Grand Isle lately and things have been getting worse.
"We had a killing up the street and stuff being stolen. Things have changed," resident Dean Blanchard said.
Many of the suspects were brought to the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna. The investigation is ongoing.
Chaisson was released from jail due to overcrowding. He posted a $500 bond. A status hearing is set for Dec. 29.