Indoor marijuana farm discovered by police at Covington home

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by Doug Mouton / Eyewitness News

wwltv.com

Posted on September 7, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 7 at 6:20 PM

COVINGTON, La. -- A sophisticated marijuana grow house was flourishing in a gated St. Tammany neighborhood, St. Tammany Sheriff Jack Strain said.

Thursday, deputies arrested 37-year-old Joseph Jackson of 14102 S. Lakeshore Drive in the Lake Ramsey subdivision north of Covington. Jackson is charged with possession and distribution of marijuana.

According to Sheriff Strain, Jackson grew high grade pot upstairs in his home.

"Business was obviously good for him," Strain said at a Tuesday press conference.

Investigators played video at the press conference, which they said was shot inside the home. The video showed dozens of plants growing in well manicured conditions, which included extra insulation and an automatic watering system.

Detectives seized 125 plants, and Strain estimates that Jackson made about $2,000 a week on his operation.

According to investigators, there was evidence that Jackson was expanding his operation.

"He was able to sell all of his product," Strain said. "He had a very high quality plant and apparently had no trouble getting rid of it."

According to detectives, Jackson sold all of his product in St. Tammany Parish, where they say, there's a growing market for high grade marijuana.

"We're finding more and more in just some of our routine traffic stops in the city of Mandeville, more and more marijuana that seems to be high grade," Mandeville Police Chief Rick Richard said. Richard and the Mandeville Police Department are part of the St. Tammany Narcotics Task Force.

Two months ago, members of the Task Force arrested 19-year-old Michael Goslee of Covington for possession of high grade marijuana.

Detectives said Goslee led them to his source, Joseph Jackson.

"Shocking," Gary Forbes said Tuesday when told of the arrest. "Totally shocking."

Forbes owns a home and a lot in the Lake Ramsey subdivision. He moved to the northshore from the West Bank three years ago.

"I didn't see any traffic out of the ordinary in the neighborhood," Forbes added.

Jackson did not sell his product from his home, according to Sheriff Strain.

"He did several things to try to prevent his neighbors from identifying his operation," Sheriff Strain added. "We don't believe that there's anything that the neighbors should have or could have recognized as far as his operation."

Jackson posted the $100,000 bond, and is now out of the St. Tammany Parish Jail.

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