BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A mother first believed to be the victim of a home invasion robbery is now sitting behind bars. That's because police believe she not only knew her attackers, but owed them money for marijuana she was selling.
The robbery happened on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at a home located on St. Rose Ave. The victim, Jacqueline Bridgers, 31, told police two men entered her home by force while she and her 6-year-old daughter were asleep in the bedroom. She said she was able to get through to 911 before the suspects dragged them all into the bathroom and demanded money.
"The police had already started surrounding the house when they were out there because the time from us calling 911 they were still trying to get in the door. So there was some time for them to get from point A to point B to point C. The cops were already notified before they got in the house," said Bridgers.
Bridgers told police that the men took $400. Officials say she admitted that the suspects stole her bag of marijuana.
The day after the incident, Bridgers contacted WAFB and spoke to Cheryl Mercedes. In a recorded interview, Bridgers admitted to having marijuana inside the home. However, she denied knowing the suspects.
"I have no idea who these little [expletive] were," Bridgers said. "I know they had alcohol on their breath. They seemed to be inebriated on some sort of level, because none of it made sense."
Investigators believe her statement is false.
After a brief chase, Clayton Dugan, 22, Miles Moreno, 22, and Joel Scales, 21, were arrested in connection to the crime. According to reports, at least one suspect admitted to the crime, but added that he has a history with Bridgers.
"After apprehension of the suspects of the burglary, it was discovered that the suspects entered the residence with the intention of taking a quart sized Ziploc bag of marijuana and $400.00 in cash from the defendant," the arresting officer noted in the probable cause report. "The suspect in mentioned burglary further advised that the defendant owed him money for marijuana and that the defendant sells marijuana out of the residence."
Police returned to Bridgers' home to question her about the allegations. The officer noted a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the home.
"The defendant advised that the marijuana taken was in fact hers but states that she was only going to bake brownies with the marijuana," the officer noted.
During our interview, she explained she does not feel as though possession of marijuana is a serious crime.
"I think marijuana, the whole thing about that is stupid anyway," she said. "We're not in that whole realm of criminals. What happened to me has no reflection on if I smoke."
The arresting officer charged Bridgers with cruelty to juveniles because she "exposed the child to dangerous criminal activity." She is additionally charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, use of a controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a child under 17, and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.
Bridgers was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison where she is being held in lieu of a $20,000 bond.
Dugan has been charged with armed robbery, aggravated burglary, flight from an officer and distribution/manufacturing of a schedule 1 drug. He was released after posting a bond of $8,000.
Moreno has been charged with armed robbery, aggravated burglary, resisting an officer, and impersonating an officer. He was released after posting a bond of $13,000.
Scales has been charged with armed robbery, aggravated burglary, and impersonating a police officer. He was release after posting a bond of $11,500.