Officials: Outsider leaped over La. jail wall with street drugs
Authorities arrested Nicholas Celius, 23, after police found him near the jail with a backpack full of marijuana, crack cocaine and heroin
By Ramon Antonio Vargas
NEW ORLEANS — Someone from the outside scaled the New Orleans’ jail’s perimeter wall Monday night in plain view of a surveillance camera and left various street drugs in a recreational yard of the facility, officials said.
Authorities arrested Nicholas Celius, 23, after police found him near the jail with a backpack full of marijuana, crack cocaine and heroin, the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday. However, two other unidentified people who accompanied Celius remained at large, according to the agency.
It is not clear whether Celius was the person who got over the wall or was one of the two alleged accomplices who were nearby but outside the wall.
The Sheriff’s Office said jail guards watched on a surveillance camera feed as a man approached the lockup’s perimeter wall and managed to get over it about 10 p.m. The agency did not say exactly how the man got over the wall.
Staffers quickly moved to confront him, but he fled with two others waiting nearby while leaving behind several packages of drugs.
The Sheriff’s Office suspects he hoped to leave the drugs and other unspecified contraband for at least one inmate.
After guards contacted New Orleans police, officers captured Celius in the area; they said his backpack had marijuana, crack and heroin in it.
Besides counts of drug possession and resisting arrest, he was jailed on an unspecified outstanding warrant dating back to last year.
The two others who were on the scene got away, and a search was on for them Tuesday, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Sheriff Marlin Gusman said Celius’ arrest is a reminder of his agency’s commitment to “aggressively combat the constant efforts of individuals to introduce narcotics into the jail.”
He added, “We appreciate the diligence of our staff to detect this latest threat, as well as the quick response of the New Orleans Police Department.”