For the second time this week, the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office and the Opelousas Police Department have combined forces to make another major drug bust.
About 22 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of about $22,000 was confiscated, together with a semi-automatic pistol, during the operation.
This is the second major investigation and drug bust, St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said at a news conference. The Sheriff's Office and OPD had announced the prior seizure of 34 pounds of marijuana Monday.
The events leading up to the arrest of Tedrick Thibodeaux were set in motion Tuesday night, when his vehicle was stopped by an OPD officer for a tail-light violation.
When the officer became suspicious of illegal substances in the vehicle, he requested permission from Thibodeaux to search the vehicle. When Thibodeaux refused, the officer called in a K-9 unit. The dog indicated that the officer's suspicions were founded, and the vehicle was searched.
Officers found about a pound and a half of marijuana, said Opelousas Police Chief Perry Gallow. Learning that Thibodeaux lived outside the city limits of Opelousas, officers contacted Sheriff's Office narcotics detectives for assistance.
Detectives obtained permission from Thibodeaux and his girlfriend to search their residence. According to a statement from the Sheriff's Office, they found 22 pounds of marijuana, a digital scale containing marijuana residue and a loaded
9-mm semi-automatic handgun.
There also were three children younger than age 11 in the house, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Guidroz said there is reason to believe the 34 pounds of marijuana seized earlier this week and the drugs confiscated Tuesday may have come from the same source, along with 10 pounds of marijuana seized earlier this month.
Thibodeaux was booked into the Opelousas City Jail on charges of possession with intent to distribute a Schedule I controlled, dangerous substance and tail-light violation.
BY JUDY BASTIEN MAY 27, 2010
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