Arrests made after deputies find meth lab, three children, in Kentwood home

Tangipahoa Parish authorities made a string of arrests this week after finding three children in a home with 15 “shake and bake” one-pot methamphetamine labs and several firearms, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said Friday.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of suspicious activity on South River Road in Kentwood and arrived to find two subjects fleeing from 69062 S. River Road, sheriff’s spokeswoman Dawn Panepinto said Friday.

Smelling a chemical odor like the one produced during the manufacture of methamphetamines, Deputy Rod Graham detained three men standing outside the house Monday, as well as another man sitting in a vehicle behind the home, Panepinto said.

She said the man in the vehicle, Eric Brown, 35, initially refused to get out of the white Lincoln and reached for a .38-caliber pistol on the floorboard as Graham approached.

When Brown finally complied and got out of the car, Graham found a large quantity of suspected methamphetamines next to the pistol, Panepinto said.

Inside the home, narcotics detectives found 15 one-pot meth labs, about 47 ounces of methamphetamine oil and other drug paraphernalia, including materials for making meth, some used and some unused, in the refrigerator, several closets and the attic, Panepinto said. Several firearms were also recovered.

Three children, ages 8 to 14, were in the home at the time, along with 37-year-old Marie Casselberry, Panepinto said.

Deputies arrested Brown and Casselberry, both residents of the home, on 15 counts each of manufacturing methamphetamine, one count of possession of a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance while in possession of a firearm and three counts of child endangerment, Panepinto said.

Brown was also booked on one count each of convicted felon in possession of a firearm, fugitive from another jurisdiction and resisting arrest.

Panepinto said the three men detained outside the home — Amos Foster, 52, 209 W. Factory St., Amite; Daniel Cortez, 22, 305 N. Bay St., Amite; and Terence Brewer, 19, 14048 Stateline Road, Kentwood — were booked on 11 counts each of manufacturing methamphetamine.

Foster was also booked on one count of possession of a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance.

Agents have located the two suspects who fled the scene and have identified several others who may be involved in the manufacture of methamphetamines in the parish, Panepinto said. Additional arrests are likely, she said.