HAMMOND, LA (WAFB) - Officials in Tangipahoa Parish say approximately $1 million in processed marijuana and 320 large marijuana plants were found at what they call a "cartel like" setup in Hammond, LA. Four people were arrested and a child was placed in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services.
Early Tuesday morning, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office received a report that 25-year-old Megan Crain stole a vehicle and was possibly headed to Tangipahoa. The victim also accused Crain of having illegal narcotics in a white plastic garbage bag in the backseat of the vehicle.
Deputies found the stolen vehicle with Crain, 49-year-old Dagoberto Rodriguez, 30-year-old Brent Crain and a juvenile inside. When officials searched the vehicle and the occupants, they found four rocks of crack cocaine and a crack pipe. Investigators also learned Rodriguez had four outstanding failure to appear warrants for his arrest.
The man who called in the stolen vehicle report lives with Megan Crain and Brent Crain on Jenkins Road. He has been identified as 31-year-old Donald Chiasson.
Officials with TPSO says several suspects in this incident were targets in an on-going undercover narcotics investigation. Investigators found about 15 pounds of processed marijuana in the house after a search warrant was issued.
"During interviews with the subjects, agents learned of the marijuana grow located on Guy Road in Tangipahoa," said agents in a news release Friday. "Agents relocated to this area where the investigation continued. Upon arrival, agents were led to a large field in a wooded area where a large scale 'cartel like' marijuana grow was operating. As agents walked through the field they observed at least 318 massive marijuana plants, an irrigation system set up supplying the plants with water, components of processing and cultivation such as fertilizer, and 3 outdoor drying stations containing approximately 250 pounds of processing marijuana."
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was called to help with the case. Some of the plants found in the area were reported 7-feet tall and 4-feet wide.
Dagoberto Rodriguez was charged with cultivation of marijuana. Megan Crain, Brent Crain and Donald Chiasson were charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Brent Crain was also charged with a parole violation.