Saturday morning, shortly before the first light of dawn peered through the pine trees lining the interstate about 23 miles east of the Texas-Louisiana border, in the still darkness sometimes interrupted by the sounds of the hoot owls and cars roaring past, Cpl. Chad Booth of the Calcasieu Parish Sheriffs Office pulled over an eastbound tow truck for a traffic violation.

We should mention here that Cpl. Booth is a member of the Sheriff Office CAT Team, that's the Combined Anti-Drug Task Force, a part of the Narcotics Task Force of Calcasieu Parish.

Photo CPSO-ELTON RICHARD

Richard Begins To Act Suspicious

As the story goes, Cpl. Booth was talking with the driver, Elton J. Richard a 42-year-old from Church Point, LA., when Mr. Richard began to act suspiciously.

In the note we received about all this from Ms. Kim Meyers at CPSO, there was no language stipulating exactly what suspicious meant to Cpl. Booth. But imagine whether you could remain completely calm cool and collected being pulled over at 4:30 am with 63 lb of cocaine in the truck with you. And imagine too, that maybe you also needed to go to the bathroom and was planning to stop soon anyway. Now here you are standing in the grass on the side of I10, about to wet your pants with a Deputy staring you down at dawn with enough cocaine to supply an entire Hollywood event like the Oscars for the whole night.

It's easy to see how a man in certain conditions such as those described could seem to act suspiciously.

Cpl. Booth then asked Mr. Richard if he, Booth, could have a look around inside of Richards truck. And Richard refused the search.

Can you form your own mental image of what was going through Richards mind when Cpl. Booth went off to get Sam to help out? Sam, is Cpl. Booth's trained and certified drug detection canine and the Corporal went about the tow truck conducting a free air sniff. You know the old saying, money can buy you a fine dog but only love can make him wag his tail and ol' Sam was loving what he was finding around that tow truck as the sun began to break over the Citgo towers in the humid morning air that day.

After Sams positive response to the odor of a controlled substance coming from the vehicle, a search revealed 27 bundles weighing about 63 pounds of powder cocaine. The CPSO estimates the street value of around $870,000 all crammed inside of that truck.

Later in the glaring light of day, Elton J. Richard was booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center and charged with possession of cocaine over 28 grams (1 ounce). A bond of $250,000 was set by Judge Clayton Davis.

You just never know what's going on in the vehicle next to you on the freeway. Congratulations and thank you to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriffs Office, the CAT Team, Cpl. Chad Booth for his good work and especially to Sam whose nose knows.

Photo-CPSO - Elton_Sulphur 9.22.18 63 lb powder cocaine