BAKER — Police searching for Baker City Court defendants in an arrest warrant roundup found a marijuana-growing operation Thursday in the home of one of their targets, Police Chief Mike Knaps said.
Police began their roundup of people who did not answer traffic or other misdemeanor charges in City Court at 6 a.m. Thursday, a week after an amnesty program for the month of February ended.
Knaps said police went to the home of Clinton Pullen III, 34, at 2641 Ray Weiland Drive and detected a strong odor of burnt marijuana when Pullen answered the door.
Pullen was a fugitive from the City Court for failing to appear on a speeding charge, Knaps said.
Questioned about the odor, Pullen admitted he had been smoking marijuana and said he had other marijuana, including plants, inside the home, Knaps said.
Police recovered five marijuana plants growing in pots in a back room of the house, along with a small, foil-lined plywood box with four small cups containing marijuana plants.
Pullen’s operation included specialized lighting, temperature controls and chemically treated water, the police chief said.
Officers booked Pullen at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison with cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
In all, police arrested 10 people and knocked on approximately 200 doors looking for defendants, Knaps said.
“We will continue the roundup throughout this month. The Clerk of Court advised that, as of midmorning, they had approximately $2,000 in warrant fees paid. We expect that trend to continue as we knock on doors,” Knaps said Thursday.
“Our goal is not to book everyone in Parish Prison, but for them to take care of their business with these warrants. If someone is not sure if they have a warrant, they can call (225) 778-1866,” the police chief said.
The amnesty program available in February allowed anyone with an outstanding arrest warrant to have the bench warrant recalled and get a new court date, if needed, to settle their case, City Judge Kirk Williams and the police chief said in January.
Williams said issuing a bench warrant adds a $50 fee to any fines and costs that a person may owe. While the amnesty program did not dismiss the $50 fee, it gave defendants extra time to pay it and other costs.
Knaps said officers on patrol will have lists of people with outstanding warrants and they will be looking for those people.