Cops: Chalmette couple hid 10 pounds of pot under kids' bed
Jay Vise Reporting
St. Bernard Sheriff's investigators say a Chalmette couple hid more than ten pounds of marijuana under their children's bed.
According to Sheriff's Spokesman Steve Cannizaro, officers also found heroin, a heroin-like drug, $7,800 in cash, and a loaded handgun in the home.
Cannizaro says Brandon Celestain, and Sanaa Halum, were arrested after a search warrant was executed at at a residence on Jackson Blvd. in Chalmette.
Besides the marijuana, Cannizaro says officers also seized one gram of heroin, several strips and pills of a heroin-like prescription drug called Suboxone, a loaded 40-caliber handgun with obliterated serial numbers, $7,800 cash and several scales and plastic bags for drug-dealing.
Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann said agents of the Special Investigations Division obtained the information which led to a judge issuing a search warrant of the residence, leading to the largest seizure of marijuana in St. Bernard in some time.
"The two individuals were part of an ongoing undercover narcotics investigation that started in early January," according to Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann. "The two were known for dealing marijuana, prescription medication and heroin."
St. Bernard Sheriff Maj. Chad Clark, who headed the investigation, said, "What made us sick was these drug-dealing scum bags had the nerve to hide the 10 pounds of marijuana in a suitcase under their children’s bed. Also, they had a loaded gun in the closet in the same kids’ room."
Police say the children were two young boys and an older girl.
Clark also said the recovered gun had notches on it, which in street parlance could mean the weapon has been used that number of times to to shoot people.
According to police, during questioning after their arrest, Celestain said all the marijuana found belonged to him and said he had 22 pounds of the drug there a week earlier, Sheriff Pohlmann said. Neither suspect claimed the heroin or Suboxone.
Both Celestain and Halum were booked with: possession with intent to distribute marijuana, heroin and Suboxone, possession of a firearm with obliterated markings, possession of controlled dangerous substances in the presence of juveniles, child endangerment and possession of firearms while in possession of controlled, dangerous substances.
Celestain was also booked with being a felon in illegal possession of a firearm and Halum was booked on warrants of arrest issued March 4 alleging distribution of marijuana and distribution of Suboxone.
Officials say anyone who suspects possible drug activity in St. Bernard Parish should call the sheriff’s drug hotline anonymously at 271-DOPE or the regular Sheriff’s Office number at 271-2501.