A joint investigation between sheriff’s deputies in St. Tammany and Jefferson parishes has led to the arrest of a man in possession of 9 pounds of “high-grade” marijuana, guns and body armor, authorities said.
Melvin Hickerson, 34, was arrested Monday (Jan. 8) and booked into the St. Tammany Parish jail on charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a minor, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of body armor, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and transactions involving proceeds from drug offenses, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.
The arrest came after members of the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Task Force and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force executed a search warrant on an apartment on West End Boulevard in the Slidell area. A St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office SWAT team also took part in the raid.
The warrant was the result of an investigation by the agencies into the distribution of what the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office said was “high-grade” marijuana in the metro New Orleans area.
Hickerson was found in possession of around 9 pounds of marijuana, two loaded handguns, a loaded .556-caliber rifle, body armor, several unknown pills, scales, baggies and $4,500 in cash, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The Sheriff’s Office said the marijuana had a street value of around $45,000. The pills are being analyzed, the Sheriff’s Office said.
An infant child that was present in the home with Hickerson at the time of the arrest was turned over to family members, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The St. Tammany task force includes detectives from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, Mandeville Police Department, Covington Police Department and Slidell Police Department.