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April 03, 2024

Narcotics, Firearms and Explosives Found During Investigations in Mandeville-area

While many in St. Tammany were enjoying their family fish fries and crawfish boils, detectives with the St Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Narcotics Division and Proactive Enforcement Unit spent their Good Friday (March 29, 2024) in the Mandeville area, following up on investigative developments regarding illegal drug activity.

Detectives made multiple traffic stops and citizen contacts which resulted in two felony arrests, the execution of a residential search warrant and the seizure of numerous unlawfully possessed firearms, illegal narcotics and homemade delayed action incendiary devices.

1.     One of the traffic stops led to the arrest of 62 year-old Cary Biedenkopf, who was found to be in possession of several individually packaged bags of fentanyl totaling 0.9 grams, 0.3 grams of crack cocaine, 0.8 grams of methadone, 1 dosage unit of Gabapentin, assorted drug paraphernalia and a semi-automatic pistol. Biedenkopf was arrested and booked into the St Tammany Parish Correctional Center on a traffic charge, an illegal weapons charge, and numerous narcotics violations. 

2.     During a separate investigation, detectives made contact with 53 year-old John Canatella), who was reported to be selling methamphetamine from his residence in the 2500 block of Rue Weller. During the initial contact with Canatella, he was found to be in possession of methamphetamine.  Detectives also observed what they suspected to be homemade delayed action incendiary devices within the home. A search warrant for the residence was obtained and the STPSO Hazardous Device Unit was called to the scene to assist. As a result of their investigation and search, detectives and HDU members seized 27.2 grams of marijuana, 23.4 grams of methamphetamine, 159 dosage units of gabapentin, 4 dosage units of buspirone, 20 dosage units of hydrocodone, 10 firearms, an assortment of drug paraphernalia associated with the street level distribution of narcotics, a large assortment of items associated with the manufacturing of delayed action incendiary devices, 5 completely assembled delayed action incendiary devices and 1 nearly complete device. Canatella was arrested and booked into the St Tammany Parish Correctional Center on the the charges of Possession with the Intent to Distribute a Schedule I CDS (marijuana), Possession with the Intent to Distribute a Schedule II CDS (hydrocodone), Possession with the Intent to Distribute a Schedule II CDS (Methamphetamine), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of a Firearm in Presence of a CDS, Possession of legend drug without prescription (Gabapentin/Buspirone)/2 counts, and Manufacture and Possession of Delayed Action Incendiary Device.

“Criminals don’t stop for holidays, and neither do the detectives with our Narcotics Division,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “I applaud the detectives with our Narcotics Division and our Proactive Enforcement Unit who work around the clock even on holidays to identify and arrest those individuals who are bringing illegal drugs into our neighborhoods. I also thank the deputies on our HDU team who are ready at a moments notice to leave their families to come out and investigate when dangerous items are located. I cannot recognize the men and women who serve on these specialized teams enough.”

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