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December 09, 2023

Over $300,000 in Narcotics, Over $100,000 in Cash, & Firearms Seized in Tangipahoa Parish

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office announces the arrest of three Ponchatoula subjects following a
four month narcotics investigation.  Arrested were 42 year-old Michael Paul Lacava, 29 year-old Merri Lauren Vaccaro, and 36 year-old Andrew Robert Lombas. Sheriff Daniel Edwards says detectives carried out a search warrant at a Raiford Road residence in the morning hours of December 8, 2023, which led to a large amount of drugs, money and guns being seized. 

Detectives seized approximately (1) ounce of heroin, approximately (2) kilos of methamphetamine, and approximately 10,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills. Investigators said the street value of the narcotics alone is estimated to be over $300,000, and in addition over $100,000 in cash was seized from the residence, making this seizure the third highest monetary seizure in TPSO history.  Also seized were numerous firearms and suppressors, along with a firearm part which converts a pistol into a machine gun. One of the firearms seized had also been reported stolen some years back. 

Lacava was charged (2) counts Possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substance scheduled I, (3) counts Possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substance scheduled II, (9) counts convicted felon in possession of a firearm, Possession of stolen firearm, Possession of firearm while in possession of CDS, Possession of drug paraphernalia, Obstruction of justice, and Fugitive from another jurisdiction. Lacava is a multi-time convicted felon for numerous drug related offenses. 

Vaccaro was charged with (2) counts Possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substance scheduled I, (3) counts Possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substance scheduled II, Possession of stolen firearm, Possession of firearm while in possession of CDS, Possession of drug paraphernalia, and (2) counts Failure to appear for Divison F.

Lombas was charged with Possession of drug paraphernalia.

Sheriff Edwards says the narcotics seized is suspected to contain Fentanyl, and commends the agents involved for their dedication to eradicating it from the streets. “Fentanyl is a deadly substance that shows no mercy towards anyone it affects”, says Edwards. “Our dedicated Narcotics unit is determined to track down and apprehend the individuals responsible for distributing this lethal poison, ensuring they are removed from the streets of our great Parish!”

***All persons accused of a crime are considered innocent until proven guilty***

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