Nov 12, 2012 7:15 PM by Tonya LaCoste
An Erath couple is accused of growing hydroponic marijuana worth more than $10,000. "You could smell it from the road," said Chief Gerald Hebert. Over the weekend, Erath Police found 20 plants growing in a shed behind the couple's home. Also, they located lights, chemicals, equipment and $793 in cash.
Police began investigating about a month ago after the Department of Children & Family Services contacted police to check on the welfare of a 22-month-old boy at James and Jessica Norred's home on Broussard Street. Child protection was called to investigate burn marks on the child, and during a visit to the home, an officer found the child unharmed but smelled marijuana, said Hebert. Since then, Erath Police surveilled the house for drug activity.
Sunday, the chief said they got a break when Youngsville police called Erath police requesting they meet halfway to return Jessica home. According to Hebert, James left his wife in Youngsville after a fight and went home with their child. The chief instructed officers to "make contact with the husband to make sure the child is okay." Once at the house, James would not allow the officers inside, and his refusal led to a search warrant. "His set up was state of the art," Hebert said.
James and Jessica Norred are charged with Cultivation of Marijuana, Possession of a controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a juvenile, possession of a controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a firearm, Possession of drug paraphernalia. James was also charged with Resisting an Officer. Erath police contacted the Department of Children & Family Services and the child is now in his grandmother's custody.