Here's what Slidell cops have to deal with:
Sale of oregano in place of marijuana leaves three with records in St. Tammany
Courtesy of nola dot com, the following story
(must be a slow news day)
A Slidell area man this week pleaded guilty to drug charges stemming from his sale of oregano, which he passed off as marijuana, and is scheduled to receive a sentence of seven years behind bars.
Another Slidell man got five years of probation for his role in the oregano sale, and the man who bought the oregano received two years of probation.
In June, Joshua Harris, 22, passed off a large bag of oregano as marijuana and was successful in making a $210 sale. But, Joshua Davis, who'd made arrangements to purchase marijuana from Harris and Anthony Batiste that day, was angry after he realized he'd been duped and immediately called authorities.
Davis, 18, of Slidell, told St. Tammany Parish sheriff's deputies on June 4 that Harris had stolen $210 from him, but he failed to mention the true contention: that Harris simply had failed to provide him with the proper herb. Yet Davis got in hot water when deputies learned the true story, especially after they searched Davis and found a marijuana joint on him.
Harris pleaded guilty on Tuesday to possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and two counts of possession of legend drugs without a prescription. Deputies found pills on him at the time of his arrest, along with a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
State Judge Martin Coady announced he would sentence Harris to seven years in prison, but the official sentencing hearing is scheduled for next month. Harris was charged in part through a section of the law that states selling "a counterfeit controlled dangerous substance" carries the same penalties as selling the actual substance.
Harris admitted to the charges against him mid-trial on Tuesday after noticing that both Davis and Batiste were prepared to testify against him, according to the St. Tammany district attorney's office.
Assistant District Attorney Harold Bartholomew prosecuted the case.
Batiste, 21, of Slidell, pleaded guilty on Monday to attempted possession with intent to distribute the counterfeit drug, and Coady gave him five years of probation under the condition that he would testify against Harris, according to the district attorney's office.
And while Davis initially was also charged with a felony marijuana charge, that charge was reduced for both helping the deputies and agreeing to testify against Harris, authorities said.
On Monday, Davis pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors, possession of marijuana first offense - for the joint in his pocket - and criminal mischief, for not telling the whole truth to police when he stated his $210 had simply been stolen. Davis was sentenced to two years of probation.