Gonzales Police Department launches program to catch wanted suspects

Nethken said there are some 5,500 cases sitting on the shelves of the department warrant archives. (Rick Portier, WAFB)
Nethken said there are some 5,500 cases sitting on the shelves of the department warrant archives. (Rick Portier, WAFB)

GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - Criminals who have been dodging the law in the City of Gonzales are being put on the spot.

The Gonzales Police Department has launched an initiative called "Gotcha Gonzales."

The purpose is to catch alleged criminals who have been on the run for several years.

There is a lot of detective work sitting at a standstill at the Gonzales Police Department. While officers are out keeping the streets safe, there are still stacks of warrants waiting at headquarters.

Detective Steve Nethken said the warrant division is opening its case files to the public to get some help tracking suspects.

"I wanted the most notorious, hard to catch individual they (warrant division) had," Nethken said.

A tall stack of papers on Nethken's desk represents three repeat offenders that, he said, have been the hardest to find.

Ahmed Miles is one of them. He has six warrants for crimes ranging from theft to traffic violations.

Latasha Gayden is wanted for writing worthless checks.

Larry Coleman, Jr. has ten warrants for not showing up in court for theft and trespassing charges.

"We have 25 or more victims here that have never gotten justice on these particular cases," Nethken said.

Nethken said there are some 5,500 cases just like those sitting on the shelves of the department warrant archives.

"This section is nothing but warrants and bench warrants passed through the courts or written by officers that arrests have not been made on yet," Nethken pointed out.

Some of the files are 12 inches thick.

Ascension Parish Judge Marilyn Lambert said she is committed to making sure the repeat no shows listed in "Gotcha Gonzales" face consequences for skipping court.

"We are going to stay abreast of the situation and make sure that these particular people, because they are so chronic, that they will have to go to jail and not be allowed to pay a bench warrant fee," Lambert said.

Lambert said that does not include the penalties the suspects could face if found guilty on the charges that got them a court date in the first place.

"I'm finished with these people taking advantage of the court and the police department," Lambert said.

Lambert said, "Gotcha Gonzales" suspects could spend up to six months behind bars if they are found guilty when they do show up for court.

The Gonzales Police Department plans to make public the names and pictures of three wanted suspects each month.

If you know where Miles, Gayden, or Coleman may be, call Crime Stoppers at 344-7867.

Callers will remain anonymous.

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