Small complaint ends with big arrest for marijuana grow operation in Walker
POSTED: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 5:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 5:04pm
WALKER, LA — What started out as an investigation into a complaint of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle turned into a significant drug arrest Friday morning in Walker, according to Captain John Sharp, Walker Police Public Information Officer.
At about 9:30 a.m. on Friday, June 14, Walker Police Officers Mitchell Fouse and James Dipuma went to a residence located at a home on Pendarvis Lane to speak with John H. Allen, III, 33, of Walker concerning a complaint he was using a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent.
“During the course of their interview with Mr. Allen, Officers asked Mr. Allen for consent to inspect the back yard of the residence for the vehicle,” Captain Sharp explained. “At the rear of the home is a barn and following inquiry by Officers Fouse and Dipuma concerning the contents of the barn, Mr. Allen led them inside where a high quality marijuana growing tent was observed.”
Officers asked Allen about the tent-like structure, which was approximately 5 feet wide, 5 feet deep and 7 feet in height and covered with a heavy black canvas-type material.
“When asked by our Officers, Mr. Allen admitted that the structure was a climate controlled growing house used for the cultivation of marijuana,” reported Captain Sharp. “The Officers opened the structure and discovered 16 marijuana plants under cultivation. Although the plants were young, the growing conditions were ideal and the plants, approximately 24 – 28 inches in height, would have been fully mature within a short period of time.”
Walker Police described the growing structure as surprisingly sophisticated.
“The structure was purchased commercially and was designed to be quickly erected and quickly taken down and moved,” Captain Sharp explained. “It contained two lights; one for encouraging plant growths and the other for blooms. Both lights were set on timers so that the maximum growth and maturation rates could be achieved. The structure was well ventilated and was lined with a highly reflective mylar material to maximize the plants’ exposure to the light sources.”
After identifying the marijuana cultivation operation, Walker Police contacted the Louisiana State Police Narcotics Division to handle seizure of the plants and the grow structure. Allen was then transported to the Livingston Parish Detention Center by Walker Police for booking.
Allen was booked with Unauthorized Use of a Movable, Manufacturing, Distribution and Possession of Schedule I Narcotics (Marijuana). His bond was set at $125,000.
The estimated street value of the marijuana was $16,000.00.