A month-long investigation into a suspected Lacombe drug dealer by the St. Tammany Parish Narcotics Task Force culminated Friday (Feb. 23) with the arrest of seven people, including the target of the investigation, as well as a teacher and three Mandeville residents who were caught up in the drug bust, authorities said.
Detectives with the task force executed a search warrant at 24622 Esquinance St. in Lacombe, a residence where 20-year-old Quinten Casnave, the focus of their investigation, had been living, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office reported in a news release. Casnave was arrested and booked on narcotics and weapon charges.
The Sheriff’s Office reported that the home was that of Melissa Pattison, 51. She was listed on social media sites as a teacher at Lyon Elementary School in Covington.
When the detectives arrived at the Lacombe residence to execute the search warrant, they witnessed several people driving away in a pickup truck, which was later stopped by Sheriff’s Office patrol units. The three occupants, Austin Folse, 20, and two teens, were found to be in possession of ecstasy and marijuana, the Sheriff’s Office reported. They were subsequently arrested.
The search warrant of the residence resulted in the seizure of ecstasy, LSD, marijuana, a suspected marijuana oil lab, Xanax and two firearms, authorities said.
In addition to Casnave, two others in the Esquinance Street home were arrested. They were identified as Caleb Pattison, 19, of Lacombe, and Devin Aucoin, 20, of Mandeville, according to the news release. The elder Pattison, who is the owner of the home, was later located at her place of employment and taken into custody.
St. Tammany Parish public school district spokeswoman Meredith Mendez said Monday that Pattison is no longer an employee of the St. Tammany school system. She declined to answer other questions, citing personnel issues.
Pattison’s webpage says she has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and has been a teacher for 27 years.
All of the suspects were booked into the St. Tammany Parish jail.
The suspects and their charges are:
Quentin Casnave was booked with possession of LSD, possession of Xanax, possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance, illegal use of a controlled dangerous substance in the presence of persons under 17.
Caleb Pattison was booked with creation or operation of a clandestine lab, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and illegal use of a controlled dangerous substance in the presence of persons under 17.
David Aucoin was booked with possession of ecstasy, illegal use of a controlled dangerous substance in the presence of persons under 17.
Melissa Pattison was booked with possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, possession of a legend drug, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance.
Austin Folse, one of the pickup truck occupants and the two teenagers in the vehicle were each booked with possession of ecstasy.
The St. Tammany Parish Narcotics Task Force is comprised of members from the Sheriff’s Office and the Mandeville and Slidell police departments.