House fire leads to drug arrest

Article Image Alt Text

A house fire at 1141 East Oak Street in Jena ended up with the homeowner in jail facing multiple illegal drug and firearm charges, according to Jena Chief of Police Scott McLendon.

At 6:41 p.m., Monday, May 23, 2016, the Jena Fire Department was notified of a house fire at the above address. When firemen arrived, the home was on fire and full of smoke. Firemen extinguished the fire and cleared the home of smoke.

McLendon was notified that one of the firemen had observed suspected illegal narcotics inside the home.

A Jena patrolman was dispatched to the scene and received voluntary consent from the homeowner, John Robbins, Sr., 64, to search the residence.

Two Jena patrolmen and a deputy sheriff entered the residence and in a room located at the end of the hallway, observed suspected marijuana plants, along with watering devices and lights. Robbins was read his Miranda rights and transported to the LaSalle Parish Jail.

Meantime, detectives with the LaSalle Sheriff’s Office arrived and began photographing the scene.

At about 8:50 p.m., the following items of evidence were collected from this room in the home: 38 suspected marijuana plants in pots, two smoking devices containing suspected burnt marijuana, a grinder containing suspected marijuana, three calendars with years of 2014, 2015, and 2016 containing information related to the plants, notebooks containing plant information, organic grow, jar of instant yeast, small tin containing suspected marijuana, LG cellular phone, Great Value cool whip container containing suspected marijuana, a clear plastic container containing suspected marijuana, two stems containing bud of suspected marijuana, nine .22 caliber shells, eight 12-gauge shells, a zip lock bag of white substance, a piece of tubing, and suspected marijuana hanging from two different clothes hangers.

Located in the same room was a gun cabinet containing firearms, including a Winchester 1200 12-GA, J. C. Higgins .22 mod 44, Winchester .22, Marlin 30/30, Knight 50 cal, Thompson Center Arms 50 cal, J. C. Higgins model 583, Springfield, and a pellet gun. Also recovered in another room was a .223 revolver along with $20 cash.

Items of evidence were secured at the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office to be transported to the North Louisiana Crime Lab for analysis.

John Robbins, Sr., 64, of Jena, was booked into the LaSalle Parish Jail on charges of possession of CDS I – marijuana – with intent to distribute, cultivation of marijuana, and possession of a firearm with CDS.

McLendon expressed his appreciation of the cooperative effort between his department, the Jena Fire Department and the LaSalle Sheriff’s Office.

“This crime demonstrates the importance of having a good working relationship between the different departments,” McLendon said. “By working together on various crimes, we are able to accomplish a lot more than we would be able to do working alone.”

“I truly appreciate the cooperation we have between the various departments,” he said.

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)