NewsNews Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2007
Contact: Michael A. Sanders
New Orleans PIO
(504) 840-1070

Drug Raid Shuts Down Marijuana Growhouse In New Orleans

JAN 19 -- New Orleans, Louisiana – William J. Renton, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Field Division, Colonel Henry Whitehorn, Superintendent, Louisiana State Police, and Jim Letten, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, today announced that at approximately 6:30 A.M., DEA Special Agents and State Troopers working together in a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force executed a search warrant at 4307 Elba Street, New Orleans, Louisiana (located in central city) and arrested CHRISTOPHER CRAYTON and JASON RELAYSON on federal drug charges.

Following up on information recently received, DEA Special Agents, working with LSP Troopers, began an investigation relative to a location being used as an elaborate marijuana cultivation house. On January 17, 2007, a search warrant was obtained for the property located at 4307 Elba Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.

During the execution of the search warrant, agents located approximately 385 marijuana plants, and the necessary chemicals and lighting for cultivating marijuana indoors. This also included the necessary ventilation and air conditioning units.

Speaking to today’s arrests, DEA SAC Renton of New Orleans said: “The success of this investigation is a direct result of a public minded citizen reported suspected drug activity to law enforcement. Law enforcement must have the cooperation of all law abiding citizens to effectively address the criminal element. I applaud the collaborative efforts among Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies. I would like to thank the dedicated professionals of the participating members of this task force for their exemplary efforts.”

U. S. Attorney Jim Letten added: “Today’s arrests and seizure of almost 400 marijuana plants, along with sophisticated cultivation equipment provides continuing evidence to our citizens of the ever-increasing presence and effectiveness of federal law enforcement in our aggressive efforts to secure the safety and quality of life of the citizens of our city. My special thanks go out to the special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and to our partners in the Louisiana State Police, who in a seamless partnership, are achieving such successes daily.

I want to also add that this investigation is being handled in the U. S. Attorney’s Office by veteran Assistant U. S. Attorney Doug Davis, who is serving in New Orleans on special assignment from the U. S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Texas (Houston). Thanks to U. S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, our office and our citizens have enjoyed the outstanding skills of AUSA Davis and five other federal prosecutors detailed to handle post-Katrina violent crime and drug cases along with members of our fine staff. It is through the Attorney General’s commitment, and that of the entire Department of Justice, including volunteer detailees like Doug that our U. S. Attorney’s Office continues to effectively investigate, prosecute, and punish those individuals who would pose a threat to the safety of our citizens and the recovery of our region.”

The public is reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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