With a population of 72 thousand across its 44 square miles, Lake Charles is the fifth largest city in the state of Louisiana. It is a major center for petrochemical refining, gaming, tourism and education.
It was first incorporation in 1861 as the town of Charleston, Louisiana. But six years later people were dissatisfied with the name and it was renamed as the town on Lake Charles. In 1910 a great fire destroyed most of the city but they were able to rebuild it rather fast and continued to grow afterwards . Its population increased to 75 thousand in the 1980's but soon declined due to economic recession. Then in 2010 the population rebounded once more with the advent of the gaming, manufacturing and aviation maintenance industries.
The L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resort is a 26 story hotel with almost one thousand rooms that helps to attract a lot of tourism to the city. A second casino, the Golden Nugget Lake Charles, opened last year and opened up approximately 2 thousand new jobs for the city. This will rank it as the third highest employer with L'Auberge being the second at 2,400 employees and the Calcasieu Parish School System being the top employer with 5 thousand workers.
Because of its location in south Louisiana, Lake Charles also has a strong Cajun community and culture with museums featuring historical exhibits and artifacts on it. Lake Charles has also been celebrating Mardi Gras since 1882.
18 Arrested in Lake Charles Drug Sting, Crystal Meth linked to Horse Racing:
Parish authorities held a one and a half year long investigation that resulted in 18 arrests. They found "lab quality" methamphetamine being funneled into the Lake Charles area, with several involved people being tied to the horseracing industry.
When the warrants were handed out, arrests began taking place in Louisiana as well as Texas. Lake Charles Police Chief, Don Dixon, said that 11 warrants resulted in the seizure of pounds of crystal meth, several weapons and also resulted in the discovery of three active meth labs. The arrests found that most of the suspects had ties to the horseracing industry either as owners, jockeys and trainers. No officials at the Delta Downs racetrack were targets of the investigation, but assets from the horseracing industry were seized as well as large amounts of steroids used on horses.
The investigation uncovered transportation from Texas to Lake Charles of the meth drug. One of the suspects disappeared and was later found dead, when he was pulled from the Neches River in Texas. This pulled resources from the drug bust to a possible homicide. It is not certain that it is a homicide, the man did have injuries to his body, but they may not have been life threatening, indicating that he may have been alive when he entered the river. There were also a large amount of drugs in his system so they are trying to determine is he entered the river on his own due to being high.
Overall this bust was considered a success, as they did not want to only catch the "little local buys" but wanted to found out where the drugs were coming from and take down the distribution rings involved in the flood of crystal meth into Lake Charles.
5 Arrested in Lake Charles Pharmacy Burglaries:
Suspected members of the 5th War Circle gang in Houston were arrested in connection with a series of pharmacy burglaries in Lake Charles. All five of the men arrested have extensive criminal histories and are now being charged with two counts each of simple burglary of a pharmacy, two counts of theft ($500 - $1,500) and one count of resisting an officer.
Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon spoke up about the arrests saying:
"They have numerous arrests -- I think I counted 63 between them -- all in Texas. Texas, they had a chance, and they failed. Our DA's office is going to pursue justice in this case, and there will be no deals. There will be no mercy. I am tired of seeing arrest records like this."
The initial bond was set at $13 thousand and one of the men posted bail before it was raised to $250 thousand. The remaining four men remained in the Calcasieu Correctional Center. Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier said:
"We are going to do a full court press on this. These are guys are not leaving here until they go through the Louisiana penitentiary system. The public should not have to tolerate this. We will not stop until these guys are sentencing to the maximum."
Pharmacy burglary is an increasing crime in Louisiana and across the nation as people are able to knock off one store and reap enormous amount of profit from selling painkillers, stimulants and other prescription drugs on the streets. As addiction and abuse to prescription drugs goes on a continual rise nationwide, more laws are being put in place to stop drug seekers and dealers from obtaining drugs to abuse or resell on the streets. This causes an upsurge in robbery of pharmacies as they are left to little other means.
Drug Treatment Options in Lake Charles, Louisiana:
Lake Charles, Louisiana has only 5 treatment centers. Because of this rather low number it may be needed to look outside the city to find treatment for a loved one in your life. However the five they do have are still an option and we will go over some of the details of each one here:
- Joseph R. Briscoe Treatment Center: Inpatient care offered, special programs and groups offered. Medicaid, Medicare, private health insurance, military insurance, self-payment, and access to recovery voucher is accepted with sliding fee scales and payment assistance.
- Lake Charles ADC: Outpatient care only, special programs and groups offered. Medicaid, Medicare, private health insurance, military insurance, self-payment, and access to recovery voucher is accepted with sliding fee scales and payment assistance.
- Lake Charles Substance Abuse Clinic: Outpatient care only, no special groups or programs. Self-payment only.
- Nepenthe House: Inpatient care offered, special programs and groups offered. Self-payment is accepted with sliding fee scales.
- Stages of Recovery: Outpatient care only, no special programs or groups offered. Self-payment only.