From District Attorney Scott Perrilloux
Amite- District Attorney Scott M. Perrilloux reports that 35-year-old Jessie James Baker, of Hammond, LA, was found guilty by a Tangipahoa Parish jury of illegal use / carrying of weapons while in possession / control of a controlled dangerous substances and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Assistant District Attorney Le’Anne Malnar explained to members of the jury that on January 16, 2015, while Hammond Police were conducting patrols near the intersection and East Park and Range Road an officer observed a black Dodge Challenger drive up to the blue store at which time, an unknown male approached the driver’s window.
The unknown male handed the driver money at which time the driver handed the unknown male a clear plastic bag. The officer noticed this to be a hand transaction of narcotics. The Dodge Challenger exited the store parking lot and proceeded on East Park. The officer initiated a traffic stop in a fully marked police unit using emergency lights and sirens at the intersection of East Park and Easy Street. Upon stop, the driver was identified as Jessie James Baker.
The officer detected a moderate odor of marijuana coming from inside of the vehicle. The officer asked Baker if he just completed a hand to hand transaction and he advised “no”. The officer asked Baker if he had any weapons or narcotics in the car and he advised “no”. The officer asked for a consent to search at which time Baker advised “no”. The officer advised Baker that a TPSO K9 was in route to the location of this stop.
As the officer stood in the doorway of the driver’s side of the vehicle Baker attempted to close the door, placed his car in drive, and flee the traffic stop. The officer was able to get the car off but noticed the defendant trying to grab a gun in the center console.
After a brief struggle, he subdued Mr. Baker and then placed him under arrest for resisting an officer.
A search of Baker during arrest revealed a clear plastic bag filled with marijuana was found in the left rear pocket. Shortly after, TPSO K9 alerted on this vehicle as they completed a sweep of the exterior of the vehicle.
The officer also located a Jimenez 9mm firearm in the center console of the vehicle. Baker had two prior felony convictions and could not legally be in possession of the firearm. All items seized were placed into evidence and sent to Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for further analysis.
Sentencing for Jessie Baker is scheduled for July 15, 2020 at 9:00 A.M.
Assistant District Attorney Le’Anne Malnar represented the State of Louisiana; Judge Brenda Ricks will hand down the sentence.