HOUMA -- Authorities are searching for a 37-year-old Chauvin man who walked out of a local hospital after agents said they found almost $20,000 worth of drugs in his vehicle.
On the evening of May 10, deputies responded to the Landing Apartments at 1803 Martin Luther King Blvd. in Houma after receiving reports of a suspicious person who was passed out in his vehicle, the Terrebonne Sheriff’s Office said.
In an email interview Thursday, Maj. Terry Daigre, the Sheriff’s Office narcotics commander, said the initial investigation was prompted by a concerned witness who alerted deputies when they saw Jeff Anthony Gautreaux of Bayouside Drive appear unresponsive in his vehicle.
Assisted by agents of the Terrebonne Narcotics Task Force, patrol deputies made contact with Gautreaux and found about 18 grams of heroin with a street value of $900, about 90 grams of crystal methamphetamine with a street value of $18,000, assorted prescription medication, various pieces of drug paraphernalia and more than $900, the Sheriff’s Office said.
More than $200 in counterfeit currency was also recovered during the investigation, authorities said.
“Narcotics, paraphernalia, U.S. currency and counterfeit currency were found on the suspect’s person, and elsewhere in the vehicle,” Daigre said. “Upon initial contact, drug paraphernalia was seen in plain view. Also, an odor of marijuana was emitting from the vehicle.”
Gautreaux was transported by ambulance to Terrebonne General Medical Center. The details of his medical condition were not released. However, when the suspect arrived at the hospital he awoke and refused treatment before leaving the facility in an unknown direction, authorities said.
Daigre said the hospital wasn’t to blame for Gautreaux’s disappearance.
“There was no communication error,” Daigre said. “We were not going to deny this subject medical attention, but we do not always have the manpower to sit at the hospital.”
“If nobody is placed under arrest, the hospital is not responsible to hold them,” said Maj. Malcom Wolfe, Terrebonne sheriff’s spokesman. “In this case, the person was unconscious when he got there. We weren’t going to hold someone so they can’t get the medical attention they need. We could always get warrants for them at a later time. We weren’t sure when he was going to become conscious.”
Warrants were obtained for Gautreaux’s arrest on charges of possession with intent to distribute heroin and crystal meth, possession of a schedule IV controlled dangerous substance (Diazepam), illegal proceeds from drug offenses, monetary instrument abuse and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Anyone with information on Gautreaux’s location is asked to contact Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office at 876-2500 or Bayou Region Crime Stoppers at 800-743-7433. Some callers may become eligible for a cash reward.