NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - An investigation by Louisiana State Police and NOPD that linked two suspects to multiple carjackings began weren troopers spotted a stolen vehicle parked near the intersection of Crozat and Iberville Saturday evening.
Around 8:00 p.m. November 19, troopers say they moved in to arrest 19-year-old Silas Declouet, 18-year-old Xavier Finley and a 16-year-old juvenile whe were sitting in the stolen Chrysler 200.
During the arrest, troopers say they spotted one of the men stashing items under the passenger seat.
Investigators say a search turned up a handgun, a bag of white powder, marijuana, and an assortment of credit cards and IDs.
Finley and Declouet were initially booked on charges related to the stolen vehicle, drugs and weapon.
But investigators weren't done.
They say the owner of the stolen vehicle told them she had been carjacked and shot by a suspect who matched Finley's physical description.
Troopers, working with NOPD detectives, say they were able to identify all three subjects as accomplices in multiple aggravated assaults, armed robberies and the shooting of the carjacking victim.
On November 23, police re-booked Finley and Declouet on additional charges.
Finley is now booked with aggravated assault, accessory to auto theft, armed robbery, aggravated second degree battery and a municipal warrant for simple assault.
Declouet faces additional charges of aggravated assault, accessory to auto theft, armed robbery, illegal possession of stolen things and possession of marijuana.
The 16-year-old juvenile is also booked with aggravated assault, accessory to auto theft and armed robbery.
In a twist, troopers say they later learned the white powder taken from the stolen vehicle was actually "BC Powder" which they say Finley was attempting to sell as cocaine.
"The arrest of these suspects not only speaks to the efforts of Troopers investigating beyond the traffic stop, but to the collaborative efforts of the Louisiana State Police and the New Orleans Police Department working together to protect the people of New Orleans," said Colonel Mike Edmonson, Louisiana State Police Superintendent in a news release.
Investigators suspect there could be additional cases involving these suspects. They ask anyone with information to contact the State Police, NOPD or call Crimestoppers at 822-1111.