Rolling On The River
August 15, 2018
Believe me, it was never my plan to include any of Todd Travasos' drama in my Story but that all changed after the Abbeville Police Department arrested him on his birthday, October 26, 2016.
There is a long chain of events that led up to Todd’s arrest and, ironically, most of it doesn’t involve him at all. It started way back in 2012 when a pay for play scheme was exposed inside Mike Harson’s district attorney’s office. The FBI indicted the so-called master-mind of the operation and then they continued their investigation by taking a close look at Mike Harson’s involvement.
Simultaneous to the Harson investigations, the FBI was also in Iberia Parish keeping an eye on Sheriff Louis Ackal who has a bad reputation for manipulating the laws in his jurisdiction. It was (is) well known among his officers that Ackal often used (uses) confidential witnesses- known as informants (or flat out liars) – to prove his cases. Ackal's informants were complaining of ‘shake downs’ and threats of violence coming from their handlers in uniform.
Law enforcement officers who have the intention to flip an informant will generally bust the perp and then promise to go easy as long as that perp agrees to roll on someone else. The perp will almost always say anything the cop wants to hear in order to stay out of jail or, at least, get a lesser charge. I know through personal experience that Louis Ackal isn’t the only Sheriff in Louisiana who will use the (false) testimony from an informant (liar) in order to beef up a case that otherwise wouldn't even exist. In my case, Sheriff Couvillon used the false information from his Stool-in-the-Culdesac to create the illusion of a crime and put out a warrant for my arrest. That is how Sheriff Couvillon has retaliated against me for this website. And, not surprisingly, his goons are still trying to entrap me to this day. The attorney’s involved in this chapter say: 'this happens all the time. Cops do this ALL the time and they get away with it. Nothing we can do, just the way it is'.
The FBI spent all of 2013 investigating Mike Harson while keeping an eye on Sheriff Ackal when, out of the blue, I received an email from a stranger asking if I was helping the Feds in New Iberia. I was firm in my reply and told them I had absolutely nothing to do with the FBI. Then the emails on the subject of Iberia Parish bloomed into three additional contacts, none of whom could spell worth a damn. Communication was slow and arduous while they mostly complained about the cops who busted them. It was difficult to feel sorry for these petty criminals.
Later that year, just as the FBI investigations into Harson and Ackal were ramping up, the Iberia Sheriff’s Office arrested Scotty Latiolais. This wasn’t Scotty’s first rodeo with law enforcement and he knew exactly what the Sheriff wanted.
Flashback to 2004: Scotty Latiolais was arrested in New Iberia after Tommy Rush got busted for selling a joint. Information from Scotty took the investigation to Cody Borque and Lam Xanamane. The investigation ended in Carencro after the arrests of Jerry and Karen Sparks. The informant who worked with law enforcement, claimed that he had been buying 2 pounds of meth per month from the Sparks in Carencro for 8 years. LEOs seized over two pounds of methamphetamine along with cash and properties worth millions of dollars.
Both Jerry and Karen Sparks were charged. Bourque was charged, Xanamane was charged and even Rush was charged for trying to sell a joint. But no charges were ever provided to the public regarding Scotty Latiolais.
By the time Scotty was arrested again, on October 10, 2013, he was a professional recidivist. He had been arrested over and over through the years, yet he always managed to make his way back into the bowels of society. He has an extensive rap sheet with drug charges, usually meth, and a long history of dealing in stolen property. When Scotty Latiolais was arrested again that night in October, he knew exactly what Ackal wanted and then he proceeded to rat out every name he could think of. By the end of that week, Scotty was credited for helping law enforcement recover over $40,000 worth of drugs and stolen property.
This development irritated one of my illiterate contacts from New Iberia who told me that Scotty ratted out one of his friends. This contact wanted to know why Scotty ratted out everyone except ‘the guy in Port Barre’. The illiterate was pissed off and I had to remind them that I did not work with or for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and had no way to answer their question.
One of the persons who Scotty ratted out that night was Johnny Primeaux. Scotty had “informed” the cops that they would find one CASE bobcat tractor, one Miller welding machine, one 72” Kubota riding mower and two dirt bikes – all of it was stolen merchandise and Scotty told the cops they could find it at Johnny Primeaux’s home in Lafayette.
Lafayette Sheriff’s Deputies swarmed Johnny Primeaux’s house the very next day. More than eight police units showed up claiming to have a search warrant for huge earth moving tractors and such.
1 Count of RS14:69 ~ ILLEGAL PSS OF STOLEN THINGS ~ (FELONY)
The officers spent three whole hours searching Johnny’s small 4000 square foot lot looking for items that would be the size of an elephant. The frustrated cops even rifled through cupboards and cookie jars, bedrooms and closets. After the cops failed to produce one single stolen item on the property they brought in the dogs – K9’s – apparently Scotty’s handlers in law enforcement needed dogs to help them find an earth moving tractor and such.
Let’s face it, the cops could have concluded that Scotty got that one wrong but, instead, they refused to leave until they could find any reason at all to arrest Johnny Primeaux. (Sergeant Kelly’s way of saving face)
Flashback: Ten years earlier, Johnny Primeaux was arrested on felony drug charges, he was 21 years old. Due to his felon status, he was not allowed to possess firearms unless he had written permission from the Sheriff. Therefore, Primeaux went to Sheriff Mike Couvillon’s office and asked for permission to have some hunting rifles. Couvillon said he couldn’t sign the paperwork because Johnny brought the wrong permission form but he also told Johnny not to worry about it. If Johnny wanted to keep a few hunting rifles, Sheriff Couvillon said it was OK by him. And then Johnny Primeaux picked up three long guns for duck hunting and locked them in a certified gun safe.
Johnny Primeaux had stayed out of any kind of trouble for ten years, he was happily married, he had a son with a second child on the way. Johnny was gainfully employed and respected among his co-workers. None of that mattered to the cops, after all, they had a statement from their informant (trained liar) Scotty Latiolais.
After spending three more hours on the K9 search, finding absolutely nothing (not even a joint), the very frustrated Major Kelly of the LPSO forced Johnny to open his small gun safe. Johnny had already told the officers what they would find inside and, sure enough, they found exactly what Mr Primeaux said was there. He had three duck hunting rifles and some personal documents inside.
Sergeant Kelly had Johnny Primeaux arrested at once. The charge was 'Felon in possession of a firearm'. It's important to remember that guns were never part of the search warrant, but then, Sheriff Couvillon denied having any verbal agreement that allowed Johnny to own the guns and, so, Johnny went to jail.
Things began looking brighter in 2014 as soon as Keith Stutes began campaigning against Mike Harson for the 15th JDC District Attorney position. Stutes ran a classy campaign while Harson stood on immature name-calling. It wasn't easy for Harson because he was still under FBI scrutiny during his entire campaign. Plus, Stutes had conducted an internal review of the DA’s office and promptly gave the report to the FBI. It was a losing battle but that didn't stop Sheriff Couvillon from doing everything he could to help Harson. He even had his deputies confiscating Stute’s campaign signs out of the yards in Vermilion Parish. And as to be expected, the VPSO flooded social media with a torrent of pro-Harson baloney. By the time Spring rolled around, it was clear that Harson’s dirty politicking wasn’t working and that Keith Stutes was a serious threat to Mike Harsons District Attorney position.
It was then, in the spring of 2014, that the investigations against Harson had taken a serious turn. Soon after, a truck was found completely engulfed in flames next to a sugar cane field in the village of Maurice. The Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s office investigated and found the scorched body of Cody Fell inside that truck. Cody was a local man who was known to be Mike Harsons top informant in the DA’s office. Cody was sitting in the driver’s seat and a deceased female was found on the passenger side. Their remains were so charred it took weeks to positively identify Cody.
A month later, May 2014, Tyler Domingue of Opelousas disappeared without a trace. Each one of my illiterate contacts in Iberia Parish, the angry informants (trained liars), each one of them claimed that they knew both Cody Fell and Tyler Domingue.
Hmmmmm. These illiterates generated hundreds of dead-end bunny trails and were generally a waste of my time. Well, except for that one single tip about Port Barre. That tip didn’t produce much right away but I was surprised when some familiar names started showing up on my radar so I continued to keep an eye on Port Barre.
Six months after the disappearance of Tyler Domingue, the Vermilion Sheriff's Office had a visit from Scotty Latiolais, the recidivist informant in Iberia Parish. Next thing ya know, Johnny Primeaux was arrested again. He was arrested after Scotty made a report claiming a threat on his life - a threat that he claimed took place a whole year earlier. That's right, Scotty went to the VPSO, even though he said the threat happened in Iberia Parish, and then he signed a statement claiming that Johnny pulled a gun on him a year earlier. When Scotty signed that report, Johnny was out on bond while waiting for his court appearance regarding the hunting weapons charge. He was driving his work truck after a lunch break when he was surrounded by sheriff’s units. The deputies came at Johnny with their weapons drawn and shouting at him to get out of his truck and keep his hands up.
It was the VPSO (false) report from Scotty (the trained liar) that law enforcement used as an excuse to go after Johnny Primeaux with their weapons drawn. They searched his work truck after they arrested him and it was clean. By November, 2014, law enforcement had arrested Johnny Primeaux twice in the same year, and both times the cops gave reason for those arrests based on the words of a desperate junky informant. Scotty Latiolais.(the trained liar)
Johnny ended up spending 30 days in jail just waiting for an opportunity to make bail after that second arrest. The Assistant District Attorney who agreed to prosecute Scotty's death threat case was Ted Ayo and Johnny ended up having to pay another $7,000 for a another worthless attorney. The hunting gun charges from the first arrest were being prosecuted by Ronald Dautreive and there was still another year of waiting before a trial could be heard. The Primeaux’s had to max out their credit just to defend themselves from a slow moving (seemingly rigged) justice system.
Finally, in January, 2015, Keith Stutes was sworn in as the District Attorney for the 15th JDC of Louisiana. Mike Harson was still under investigation and Sheriff Couvillon’s goons were rushing around trying to delete all of their pro-Harson propaganda off the internet. By April, DA Stutes looked into Sheriff Couvillon’s fraudulent charges against me and every single charge was dropped immediately. Another issue that Stutes cleared up was to lift the restrictions against my cash-cards that Sheriff Couvillon had put in place. My cash card worked anywhere in the world except the State of Louisiana for five whole years- as I mentioned, that was another one of Mike Couvillon’s civil rights violations that District Attorney Keith Stutes took care of.
A year after Keith Stutes took office, Johnny Primeaux was finally scheduled to appear in court regarding the hunting-weapons charge. (charges from the first time that Scotty sent the cops to Johnny's house) It was January 2016, the charge was over two years old and Johnny used his lunch break to appear at his pre-trial hearing. He was driving down the highway headed toward the courthouse when -
Johnny got stuck in traffic. All lanes were blocked due to an accident and Johnny immediately called his wife who was already at the courthouse. Johnny explained that he might have to be late and then the Judge agreed to move his case to the end of the docket for the day. Johnny appeared in the courtroom ten minutes later and everything seemed to remain on track. At the end of the day, Judge Marilyn Castle asked Johnny to stand before the court and as soon as Johnny stood up, and without any ceremony, The Judge told Johnny that she found him in contempt for being ten minutes late to her courtroom.
And for the third time, this time without ceremony, Johnny was promptly arrested on the spot and taken to the Lafayette Parish jail.
Within hours of his arrest, the Lafayette Parish Sheriff Office transferred Johnny to the Vermilion Parish Corrections Center.
It is there, inside the VPCC, that Johnny Primeaux sat in a cell for five entire days while waiting to make bail on the contempt charge. By the time he was granted a bail hearing his worthless attorney didn’t even bother to show up. Instead, he was stuck with a legal secretary who was completely unfamiliar and equally un-interested in his case. The assistant district attorney assigned to the hunting-weapons and contempt charges was Ronald Dautreive. But when the VPSO brought Johnny to the courthouse to arrange for bail, he learned that Jay Prather would be taking over the case. Prather had recently been appointed by Keith Stutes as the lead prosecutor in Vermilion Parish.
When Johnny Primeaux stood before Judge Castle for the second time, he took full responsibility for showing up ten minutes late to her court room and promised it would never happen again. Johnny’s supportive wife was in court prepared to post bail without hesitation when suddenly Jay Prather began speaking to the Judge. He asked the Judge to revoke all bail privileges and used words like “High Risk”, “dangerous to the community”, “flight risk” and “PENDING CHARGES IN VERMILION PARISH”. (the pending charges were from Scotty’s late death threat report to the VPSO) Johnny’s ‘legal counsel’ just sat there in the courtroom with a completely uninterested expression on her face.
Judge Marilyn Castle ended up setting Johnny’s bail at $250,000 for the contempt (ten minutes late) charge.
This all happened on Groundhog’s Day, February 2nd, 2016, and Johnny Primeaux was tapped out after years of paying for two useless attorneys. He did not have the necessary $30,000 to make bond and, therefore, Johnny Primeaux spent the next seven months incarcerated without a trial.
Johnny’s jail time started out with relentless interrogations by Deputy Sammy Laporte and Colonel Kirk Frith of the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s office. In every interrogation the detectives would tell Johnny that they KNEW he had information regarding the death of Cody Fell and they told Johnny if he didn’t cooperate he would eventually be charged with murder.
Johnny insisted he knew nothing about Cody Fell and refused to sign any statement that said otherwise. Then Prosecutor Ted Ayo brought Johnny a plea deal regarding Scotty’s late report to the VPSO. When Johnny told Ayo that he refused to take a plea because he didn’t do anything – Ayo pushed back hard. He started screaming at Johnny and told him that if he didn’t take the plea he was going to up the charge to Armed Robbery.
Sure enough, that’s exactly what Ted Ayo did.
Flashback April, 2014: Mike Harson’s favorite informant, Cody Fell, was found dead inside his burning truck on a Vermilion Parish road. It’s been said by attorneys who are involved with this chapter that Cody had cooperated as an informant in the past for some of Jay Prather’s prosecution cases.
Personally, I still can’t let go of the fact that Cody Fell was murdered just as the FBI investigation against Harson was getting red hot. Add the fact that Cody’s body was found in Vermilion Parish where Harson and Couvillon reigned supreme and above the law. Plus, two of the dirtiest VPSO deputies, Laporte and Frith, seemed to be hell bent to pin Cody’s murder on Johnny Primeaux. And by all appearances, it seems that Ted Ayo was able and willing to use the justice system to help the dirty deputies with that cause. Let me be clear, my opinion comes with up close and personal experiences of how both Sammy Laporte and Kirk Frith conduct business at the VPSO. I’ve also had personal and up close experience on how the Abbeville Courthouse willingly supports judicial abuse. Even though I do not have and have never seen all of the evidence that Jay Prather has, I just can’t let go of the truth from my experiences after being judicially abused by Vermilion style of law enforcement.
By the time August, 2016, rolled around, Johnny Primeaux had been sitting in jail for seven months. On August 9, Sheriff Mike Couvillon of the Vermilion Parish Sheriff Office became the president of the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association. Just like that, Mike Couvillon instantly became the most powerful lawman in the state of Louisiana. It was a huge boon for Sammy Laporte and Kirk Frith, the dirty deputies who wanted to get credit for solving a murder case - any murder case - no matter how twisted their case was.
On August 29, the VPSO again delivered Johnny Primeaux to the courthouse in Abbeville. He was scheduled to begin his trial that day for the charges that were the result of Scotty's late VPSO death threat report. For the third time, Johnny stood before the Judge. Prosecuting the case was Ted Ayo and, as usual, the lead prosecutor Jay Prather was in the courtroom. The court didn't even bother to discuss any of Scotty’s accusations, instead, Johnny Primeaux was arrested again, on the spot, without ceremony, inside the courthouse.
The charge was: One Count of accessory to first-degree murder and conspiracy to obstruct.
Then the big reveal - Johnny wasn’t being charged in the Cody Fell case the way Sammy Laporte and Kirk Frith had promised him. Instead, they were charging Johnny as an accessory to the first-degree murder of Tyler Domingue. Domingue was the woman who went missing without a trace one month after Cody Fell was murdered. Law enforcement never found her body but they did pull Tyler’s car from Bayou Tigre.
After being charged with accessory to murder, Judge Castle set Johnny’s bail at $500,000 and then the VPSO quickly returned him to jail and put him in solitary confinement without one single trial.
KATC channel 3 reports:
On August 25, 2016 the Vermilion Parish Grand Jury returned a True Bill on the following individuals as it relates to the disappearance of Tyler Domingue who was reported missing from St. Landry Parish in May of 2014
1ct. 1st Degree Murder – no bond
2cts. intimidating a witness – no bond
1ct. Conspiracy to Obstruction – no bond
1ct. Accessory to 1st Degree Murder – bond $300,000
1ct. conspiracy to Obstruction – bond $200,000
1ct. Accessory to 1st Degree Murder –bond $200,000
1ct. Conspiracy to Obstruction – bond $300,000
1ct. Accessory to 1st Degree Murder –bond $200,000
1ct. Conspiracy to Obstruction – bond $300,000
KATC Channel 3 reports: Our [KATC] Investigative team found that Primeaux was scheduled for trial on Monday for Principal to False Imprisonment with a Dangerous Weapon and Principal to Aggravated Assault with a Firearm charges. [accusations made by Scotty] He has also faced drug charges in the past. [12 years earlier and he had a clean record ever since]
The spin was in and Johnny Primeaux suddenly found himself at the mercy of a justice system that prides itself on the number of awards law enforcement can receive for closing a case. Justice is not the goal in Vermilion Parish, it’s all about the score-card and pay raises no matter how hard the Deputies have to twist the truth.
Obviously, trusting the testimony from an informant is risky business. In fact, I truly believe that my illiterate contacts would be the first persons to rob their own Grandmother. When the illiterates told me that there was a guy in Port Barre who was selling meth from a bar and he had full protection from law enforcement, you can believe me when I say that I didn’t put much faith in their words. However, I sorta changed my mind after poking around.
The first thing that caught my attention in Port Barre was a well-known name from Abbeville. He was employed with the bar and his Little Brother was close pals with Scotty Latiolais. The Little Brother in question was supposedly in Port Barre to pick up a large amount of meth with plans to deliver it somewhere in Maurice all while under protection of a dirty cop. When I asked the illiterate who the cop was, I was given the name of an officer from the Abbeville Police Department. Ironically, this officer also worked on the VPSO Drug Task Force. While digging around, I spoke to a person who experienced violence at the hands of the Little Brother in Port Barre. This Victim of violence claimed that the Little Brother was being protected by the Abbeville Police Department. This person had absolutely no connections to the illiterates in Iberia Parish but when I asked for the name of the cop - I was shocked when they gave me the same officers name that I first heard from the illiterates.
I learned all of that information in October, 2016, and at that time I was preparing to publish four chapters.
The Johnny Primeaux case was supposed to be published as Act Four but after contacting the Abbeville Chief of Police, Tony Hardy, I found myself in a hornets nest of corruption.
At first, I thought I understood Chief Hardy's paranoia after he wouldn't take my call and didn't call me back. After all, I had been spending months making phone calls while investigating the LEO Theater chapters. I had been asking a lot of questions that made the LEO's uncomfortable. In fact, Sheriff Garber in Lafayette wouldn’t take my calls and NOBODY at the VPSO would take my calls either – when Chief Hardy didn’t take my call I figured he was just being his usual paranoid self.
So, I sent the Chief an email.
In the email I asked Chief Hardy to intervene before someone went homicidal and killed one of his informants. The violent Little Brother (informant) had just been released from jail and I was told that if he showed back up at his old haunts in Maurice or Port Barre, he would be a dead man. I also told Chief Hardy about his dirty cop on the drug task force and tried to explain to him that I couldn’t talk to the Big Brother in Port Barre because, and I quote:
“Because of the IDIOT THAT LIVES ON THE RIVER!”
Within 24 hours after sending that email to Chief Tony Hardy, the APD arrested Todd Travasos in front of the local pharmacy. It was Todd Travasos birthday, October 26, 2016, and he was picked up for allegedly stealing a handicap placard from a parked car.
The idiot that lives on the river.
Ok, now you know what lead up to the arrest of Todd Travasos. In the next chapter I will continue to prove how Todd could be the best city councilman in the history of Abbeville, Lousiana.
Next chapter Rolling on the River: Part Two
State prosecutors will seek death penalty against Dereck Viator for the murder of Tyler Lauren Domingue
Rolling on the River: Part One 8/2018 Believe me, it was never my plan to include any of Todd Travasos' drama in my Story but that all changed after the Abbeville Police Department arrested him on his birthday, October 26, 2016. https://www.dawnmarcelle.com/rollin-on-the-river-1
Rolling on the River: Part Two 8/2018To be honest, I really was in a bind after Chief Hardy completely ignored Troy’s threats of terror. Here I was, 2200 miles away with the name and address of a self-proclaimed Cajun Terrorist with NOBODY to report to. https://www.dawnmarcelle.com/rollingontheriverparttwo
Rolling on the River: Part Three 8/2018Honest question here: What do you think Brian Pope would be doing today if Chad Leger had won the 2015 sheriff election instead of Mark Garber? The answer is a simple one and it says a lot about what these Grand Jury indictments are made of. (Would you like fries with that ham sandwich?) https://www.dawnmarcelle.com/rollin-on-the-river-part-two
Rolling on the River: Part Four 8/2018 The jury found Pope completely innocent of that exaggerated charge, too, and then gave a collective eye-roll toward the prosecution, like, give us a break. https://www.dawnmarcelle.com/rollin-on-the-river-part-two-1
Choose your Truth: Episode One 5/2019 After Police Chief Tony Hardy threatened the whistle blowers I was forced to put the Primeaux chapter on ice until the dirty cops in Abbeville settled down. I didn’t mention the name Primeaux to one single person until August, 2018. https://www.dawnmarcelle.com/choose-your-truth-ep-1
Choose your Truth: Episode Two 5/2019 That day, when Johnny showed up ten minutes late to his pre-trial hearing, the 15th JDC was $800 thousand in the red and they had to lay off half of their public defenders. “We are going to be in a situation that I think will be near catastrophic,” said DA Stutes. "Justice delayed is justice denied." https://www.dawnmarcelle.com/choose-your-truth-episode-2
Choose your Truth: Episode Three 5/2019 They were tripping on some really good heroin when they left the motel. Dereck called and told them to pick up some bleach on their way home from McDonalds. When they returned to the trailer, Tyler was gone. https://www.dawnmarcelle.com/choose-your-truth-episode-3