MPs still searching for suspect after brazen hijacking of drug truck


PORT ALLEN – A highway heist, right here in the Capital Region, detectives described as something straight out of Hollywood.

“It basically rivals something you would see in a movie scene like ‘Fast and Furious’,” said Captain Kevin Cyrus of the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.

The driver of a pharmaceutical delivery truck was traveling on US 190 and was reported by a man on a motorcycle. Thinking there might be something wrong with his truck, he complied.

“The driver of the Penske truck comes out, he sees a silver Camaro behind him, the driver of that vehicle comes out, armed with a handgun and walks up to the driver. So now the driver says, ‘It’s not good, “” Cyrus said.

Another man got out of the Camaro and tied the driver’s hands behind his back. They left him by the side of the road and drove off with the truck.

After the driver was able to get his hands on a phone and call in the police, West Baton Rouge MPs and state soldiers located the abandoned truck within an hour.

“They noticed that many metal fasteners had been broken and searched for certain narcotics, mainly the opioid base.”

Since the truck carrying the drugs was an unmarked Penske rental truck, Cyrus knew it had to be an inside job.

“My first thought was to get the recent hires and layoffs from the delivery company, which they supplied, and one of the suspects had worked there for a single day.”

This is how they were directed to Darrell Harris Jr. and Landry Battley Jr.

However, the gunman who drove the truck is still missing, along with an unknown quantity of stolen pills.

Like many communities across the country, the parish of West Baton Rouge is facing an opioid crisis. Captain Cyrus said this incident is proof of how desperate things are getting.

“This particular incident, it just amplifies it. They also get it on prescription. But when you have burglaries and carjackings, when you get a lot of opioid pills, it only amplifies the problem. problem.”

Harris was recently released from jail on $ 175,000 bail. Cyrus said federal charges could be laid.

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