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Shooting investigation uncovers pot farm, identity theft operation

Posted at 9:21 AM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 10:23:42-04

A shooting investigation ended with the bust of a marijuana farm and identity theft operation, Concordia Parish Sheriff's deputies say.

Deputies booked Melvin Cooke, 29, with two counts attempted second-degree murder; possession of marijuana with intent to distribute; possession of drugs within 500 feet of a school; two counts possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; cultivation of marijuana; and identity theft.

Once they developed a suspect, deputies found him and arrested him at his Ferriday home, a release states. But during the investigation, they learned the suspect also allegedly was growing pot and leading an identity theft ring, the release states.

Deputies got a search warrant for his house, and found the gun they believe was used in the shooting, but also a lot more.

The search warrant resulted in the seizure of:

  • Five marijuana growing stations, including 42 pots containing labeled marijuana plants, fertilizers, vents and lights;
  • Multiple bags of marijuana packaged for sale along with drug paraphernalia;
  • Two handguns, one believed to be the weapon used in the shooting;
  • Numerous social security cards, debit cards, state identification cards and bank account papers, belonging to persons other than the suspect;
  • 3 laptop computers, numerous cell phone devices, tablets and iPads; including approximately 100 sim cards packaged for sale;
  • A key duplicating device;
  • Credit/debit card making machine, with blank cards.

The Ferriday Police Department and the Clayton Police Department assisted in the investigation, which is continuing.

If anyone has information about this investigation, they are asked to call the Concordia Parish Sheriff's Department.