APSO makes 5 arrests in Espinoza meth lab case


Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Major Kevin Hanna reports that on March 6, Narcotics Detectives were actively searching for Ryan Espinoza for active narcotics warrants relating to the February 21 explosion of a methamphetamine lab located at 37313 Hwy 74 Lot 181 (Twin Lakes Trailer Park) in Geismar.  During the search Narcotics Detectives received information that a Jason and Stephanie Powell had been assisting Ryan Espinoza avoid authorities.

Narcotics Detectives then located the Powell’s at which time they were placed under arrest for accessory after the fact of creation of a clandestine lab.  The Powell’s were then booked into the Ascension Parish Jail.

On March 7, Narcotics Detectives, with the assistance of the United States Marshal’s Service, located Ryan Espinoza at 43264 Moody Dixon Road Lot 28 in Prairieville.  Narcotics Detectives arrived at the location and learned that a Robert Shawn Grosse and Emmitt Mercer had also been assisting Ryan Espinoza elude authorities.  While on the scene, Narcotics Detectives located marijuana, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia at the residence.

Ryan Espinoza, Robert Shawn Grosse, and Emmitt Mercer were placed under arrest.  Ryan Espinoza was arrested on active warrants in connection with the February 21 explosion.  Espinoza was also charged with an active warrant for cruelty to juveniles. This warrant was issued after the owner of the residence (in Twin Lakes Trailer Park) where the methamphetamine lab explosion occurred on February 21 hired a private company to clean and test the residence for contamination from the methamphetamine lab; at the time of the explosion no children were present in the residence but a child does reside there.  Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Detectives subpoenaed the lab results from the private company which showed contamination throughout the residence, including the child’s room.

Stephanie Powell, 45, was charged with accessory after the fact to creation of a clandestine lab. She is currently incarcerated in the Ascension Parish Jail with a bond of $15,287.50 set by Judge LeBlanc.

Jason Powell, 39, was charged with accessory after the fact to creation of a clandestine lab. He is currently incarcerated in the Ascension Parish Jail with a bond of $15,287.50 set by Judge LeBlanc.

Robert Shawn Grosse, 25, was charged with accessory after the fact to creation of a clandestine lab, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, and possession of methamphetamine. He is currently incarcerated at the Ascension Parish Jail and no bond has been set at this time.

Emmitt Mercer, 30, was charged with accessory after the fact to creation of a clandestine lab. He is currently incarcerated at the Ascension Parish Jail and no bond has been set at this time.

Ryan Espinoza, 31, was charged with creation of a clandestine lab, simple arson, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of methamphetamine, cruelty to juveniles, three counts of failure to appear in court, simple criminal damage to property, and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He is currently incarcerated at the Ascension Parish Jail and no bond has been set at this time.

This case is still under investigation and more arrests may follow.

Anyone with information on illegal drug activity is urged to contact the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division at 225-621-8350 or by texting 847411 to our anonymous tip line from any cellular device or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-STOP (7867).