Burglary victim ends up arrested for growing Marijuana in garage

What started as a person reporting his home broken into ended with the victim, his wife and another distributor arrested on multiple charges.

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What started as a person reporting his home broken into ended with the victim, his wife and another distributor arrested on multiple charges.

Brusly Police officers had an early morning start on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. Around 3am, a neighbor walking his dog on Allene St. reported seeing a suspicious person carrying a bag. Officers said when that neighbor screamed at the person, he jumped in a blue Expedition and fled the scene.

That neighbor took to social media warning others of what he witnessed in the neighborhood. Officials said that triggered Larry Barker to call Brusly Police to report a burglary and theft.

SHED BROKEN INTO ON ALLENE ST. IN BRUSLY

“He told us someone broke into his shed (garage) and stole his medical marijuana, two guns and the DVR to his security system,” said Brusly Police Chief Jonathan Lefeaux.

Around 8am the same day, a Brusly police officer went out to Barker’s home for that complaint and relayed the information back to Chief Lefeaux and Asst. Police Chief Tom Southon.

“His nervous demeanor and inconsistencies in his statements caused us to investigate him further,” said Asst. Chief Southon.

It’s why around 11am, Brusly PD asked Barker to come to the police department to make sense of what actually happened and help identify the blue Expedition in connection to the burglary.

Brusly PD were able to find who the blue Expedition was registered to, Gavin Polotzola. They’re now looking Polotzola as a person of interest in connection to the burglary on Allene St. Officers are also looking for the blue Expedition. It’s around a 2009 Expedition with a Louisiana license plate #594EHY.

“His inconsistencies continued,” said Asst. Chief Southon. “I asked if I could go walk around his property to investigate the theft. Barker told me ‘not without me present.’ He works in Baton Rouge as a termite man. He told us ‘I’m headed to work in Baton Rouge to finish up some jobs.’ I told him ‘Okay and to call me when he was off of work & I’ll come look at the property then’.”

But when Barker left the police department, Asst. Chief Southon noticed he did not drive towards Baton Rouge. Instead, he went the opposite direction towards his home.

“We saw him go to his shed. We confronted him at his home. Mr. Barker pulled straight up to his ‘grow operation’ and was moving things around in his shed. We could hear him as we were walking up,” said Asst. Chief Southon. “We knocked on the door. Mr. Barker came out of the garage and immediately burst into tears and said he was sorry.”

That’s when officers began walking the property. The neighbor who made the initial report of a suspicious person told officers there was evidence at his property line.

“As we were searching the property, a neighbor said he saw him toss a marijuana plant over a privacy fence into another neighbor’s yard. When I told an officer what the neighbor said, Barker offered to go retrieve the plant for us,” said Southon.

“Officers found 4-5 bongs, empty marijuana bags and a cash money counter. We asked Barker why he had the money counter and so many bongs. He admitted that ‘he sells marijuana to a small group of girls to keep them from getting raped’,” said Chief Lefeaux.

At that time, Barker was arrested and officers got a search warrant for his shed where they allegedly found a ‘marijuana grow operation.’

EVIDENCE RECOVERED AT BARKER HOME

“Then we got a search warrant for the rest of the home and that’s where we found multiple drugs & guns in the presence of three underaged kids at the home,” said Asst. Chief Southon.

With the help of West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputies, officials said they found all the below at Barker’s home:

  • 14 Firearms were found  
  • approximately 9 pounds of marijuana (field-tested by narcotics agents)
  • labeled bags of marijuana seeds for cultivation
  • 26 THC wax products
  • 9 packages of THC edibles
  • 66 THC vape products
  • 360 grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms
  • 110 tabs of LSD
  • A syringe of medical THC oil was also located.

All the evidence was confiscated. Barker even told Brusly officers this was actually the third time his shed had been broken into but that he did not report the first two times. He added that he had allegedly been selling and operating for two years.  

“We believe that the burglary that happened earlier in the morning was to steal live marijuana plants from his grow operation,” said Chief Lefeaux.

Officials said Barker had a medical issue that forced him to be rushed to an area hospital.

The next morning, March 24th, when Barker & his wife returned to their home, both were arrested.

Each is charged with:

  • 6 counts Possession with intent to distribute (marijuana, LSD)
  • 1 count Possession with intent to distribute (Mushrooms)   
  • 1 count Illegal carrying of weapons (in presence of CDS)
  • 3 counts Illegal use of Controlled Dangerous Substance (child under 17)
  • 3 counts Cruelty to Juveniles

While at the Brusly Police Department, Chief Lefeaux said Barker told officers who his distributor was which triggered a search warrant on that person’s residence.

“We went to Joshua Vasquez’s apartment on March 24th on Paul Ln. in Brusly,” said Chief Lefeaux. “We found all sorts of evidence. Based on that search warrant, Vasquez was also arrested.”

“Vasquez also confessed receiving illegal drugs by mail from California and Las Vegas and distributing them to Larry Barker. From there, they both had their separate distributions and did not work together beyond the supply,” said Asst. Chief Tom Southon.

Vasquez is charged with:

-1 count Possession with intent to distribute (marijuana, LSD) – Brusly

-2 counts Possession with intent to distribute (Mushrooms) – Brusly

-1 count Illegal carrying of weapons (in presence of CDS) – WBR

-6 counts Possession with intent to distribute (marijuana, LSD) – WBR

-1 count Drug Paraphernalia – WBR

All three are now behind bars on a $375,000 bond each.

About Kiran Chawla 452 Articles
I'm an Emmy & Murrow Award winning investigative reporter who simply loves my job!

1 Comment on Burglary victim ends up arrested for growing Marijuana in garage

  1. Great Job Kiran
    Glad to have you back. We met in Colorado a couple years ago. Look forward to your continued reporting.

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