Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

Bust shines light on P&P


A king-sized drug bust in December 2010 is still reaping benefits for local Probation and Parole agents.

Minden Police recently presented the department with 13 flashlights with chargers – a much-needed item in their line of business.

"They're important for officer safety," said agent Blair Lebel. "We search a lot of houses at night."

"We also use them to search houses in the daytime," P&P supervisor Shirley Warren added. "A lot of the houses either have no electricity or they (residents) won't turn the lights on."

Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper said the purchase was made with a portion of funds confiscated during the arrest of Reggie Jackson, 31, of the 300 block of N. Fairview.

Jackson, who was on paper with Probation and Parole, was arrested December 20 after police officers received an anonymous tip regarding alleged drug activity at Jackson's residence.

Cropper said Lt. (Dan) Weaver contacted the Office of Probation and Parole concerning the tip.

"Agent Lebel was Jackson's parole officer," Cropper said. "They (P&P) are not required to have a search warrant, so they asked for our assistance."

P&P Agents Amy Russell and Lebel, along with Weaver, Minden Capt. Marvin Garrett and Minden detectives Chris Cheatham and Heath Balkom arrived at Jackson's residence, at which time they detected a strong odor of marijuana. Jackson was also observed running toward the back of the home.

During a subsequent search of the home, Cropper said they confiscated more than a pound of marijuana with a street value of more than $1,000 and three ounces of crack cocaine with a street value of more than $3,000.

"Then they found six live marijuana plants, growing in a five gallon plastic bucket and recently watered," Cropper said.

The plants, once mature, would have a street value of $9,000.

"They did a thorough search and up in the attic, they found $50,550 in cash," he said.

Jackson was charged with possession of a CDS Schedule II (crack cocaine) over 28 grams, possession of a CDS Schedule II (crack cocaine) with intent to distribute, possession of a CDS Schedule I (marijuana) with intent to distribute, cultivation of marijuana and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The cash, believed to have been acquired through the sale of illegal narcotics, was seized, as well as an SKS automatic rifle.

As the seizing agent, Cropper said his officers took possession.

"Anytime you do a seizure, it's divided among the district attorney, the court system and the seizing agent," Cropper said. "Since we (MPD) were the seizing agent, we got a lump sum.

"We wouldn't have it without Probation and Parole," the chief pointed out. "So we felt it was only right to share it with them."

Lebel said the police played an important part in the confiscation.

"We needed them, too," she said.






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