COVINGTON—A St. Tammany Parish jury rejected a Slidell man’s claims that he was a confidential informant for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and found him guilty Thursday (June 4) of two counts of distribution of cocaine, possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of Alprazolam (Xanax), and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. As a multiple offender, the defendant, Charles Ray Thompson Jr., 33, faces 30 years to life in prison.
Assistant District Attorneys Joey Oubre and Ken Dohre prosecuted the case before Judge William J. “Rusty” Knight. The investigation was conducted by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and various task force agents.
The case centered on two incidents in 2014, when Thompson, who is also known as “Chunk” and “Chuckie,” sold cocaine to undercover officers from his Slidell home. Thompson was videotaped selling 8 grams of cocaine to an undercover agent on the evening of Sept. 25 and then another 6 grams on Nov. 20. The videos of the drug sales were played in court.
When officers executed a search warrant at the trailer home where the purchases had been made, they seized the gun, Xanax pills, a half-ounce of crack cocaine and powder cocaine, as well as a glass mixing bowl containing a cloudy liquid, a metal whisk, a scale, sandwich bags, and other items used to produce and sell the drugs.
Thompson’s trial began Monday (June 1) with jury selection but was delayed a day by his last-minute attempts to call agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (D.E.A.) to testify on his behalf. Thompson claimed that he was an informant for the federal agency and had purchased the drugs to provide helpful information about the drug trade.
The D.E.A. agents testified that they indeed had signed Thompson as a confidential informant after he was arrested June 6, 2013, by the Sulphur Police Department for transporting cocaine. But, the agent said, Thompson was deactivated as a confidential source in July 2014, months before he was captured on video selling drugs in this case. Thompson’s services were discontinued after the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested him for various property crimes.
“Police take drugs off the streets. They don’t put drugs on the street,” Oubre said in his closing argument. “They receive information from a source, do their homework, make a plan, and execute that plan with many officers involved…This guy was not acting for police or on behalf of police. He thought he was smarter than police or that somehow he could play both sides of the fence.”
The jury ultimately refused to buy Thompson’s argument that he had been entrapped.
Thompson’s sentencing hearing is set for July 2. He also has other charges pending against him in two separate cases.