In the evening hours of June 13, 2013, LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Detectives were advised that a drug transaction would take place in the Jena Wal-Mart parking lot that evening. Narcotics Detectives, Sheriff Scott Franklin, and other sheriff’s deputies then met to develop an operations plan for making the arrest as safely as possible.
Detectives began surveillance of suspects, when they drove a red SUV into the Wal-Mart parking lot and parked near the front of the building. The suspects entered the store and were seen exiting separately a few moments later.
The first suspect, Michael W. Butts, II, 31, of Natchez, MS, exited the garden center to complete the transaction; as the second suspect, Savanna D. Walker, 30, of Clayton, exited the front door and returned to the vehicle.
At this time, Narcotics Detectives Leland Guin and Brant King, along with Deputy Denny Pittman engaged the suspect, Michael Butts, II; while Sheriff Franklin and Deputy Billy Prince engaged his partner, Savanna Walker. Butts denied having any illegal items on his person; however, a search by officers revealed suspected marijuana and methamphetamine in his pants pocket, along with a large amount of cash. Sheriff Franklin performed a search of the red SUV, driven by Butts and Walker, and found a package containing suspected marijuana and other illegal legend drugs inside the vehicle. Walker reportedly stated that the package did belong to her.
Walker gave a voluntary consent to search, which revealed multiple drug paraphernalia in her purse, all with suspected illegal narcotics on them. A torch used for smoking was found in the driver door of the vehicle.
Michael Butts, II, was arrested and charged with the crimes of attempted distribution of CDS II (methamphetamines), possession of CDS II (methamphetamines) and possession of CDS I (marijuana).
Savanna Walker was arrested and charged with the crimes of possession of CDS I (marijuana), possession of CDS II (methamphetamines), possession of a legend drug and possession of drug paraphernalia.