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LOUISIANA: Pastor, Daughter Arrested On Narcotics Charges

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Martin Denesse Pastor At Buras Christian Ministry

BURAS, La. -- A Buras pastor and his 22-year-old daughter were arrested and charged with several counts of narcotics possession, among other things.

Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Jiff Hingle announced the arrests of Pastor Martin Denesse, pastor of Grace Harbor Christian Ministries, and his daughter, India Marshall.

Both were charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of crack cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and traffic violations.

Denesse, 49, of Homeplace, and Marshall, 22 of Empire, were arrested at 9:15 p.m. Friday after members of the Plaquemines Parish Narcotics Unit were conducting the High-Visibility Drug Interdiction Initiative along Highway 23 in Belle Chasse.

Narcotics agents said they observed a black Ford Expedition -- which they said was being driven by Denesse and was traveling southbound on Highway 23 -- make a sudden and illegal u-turn as other PPSO narcotics agents had stopped another southbound vehicle.

As the narcotics agents stopped Denesse’s vehicle for the traffic violation, Denesse immediately exited the vehicle and attempted to distance himself from the vehicle, approaching the agents in a nervous and excited manner, they said.

The agents then told the pastor about his violations and asked if he was in possession of any weapons or drugs.

Agents discovered about 4.5 grams of crack cocaine on the pastor when they frisked him. Marshall was then ordered to exit the vehicle. Police said that's when they discovered that she had a crack pipe.

A narcotics K-9 alerted the agents to contraband in the vehicle inside a backpack. Agents recovered the backpack and discovered about 7.5 pounds of marijuana inside of it, along with measuring scales. A second scale was also found in another backpack inside the vehicle.

Denesse and Marshall were then taken into custody, arrested and booked into Belle Chasse Lockup. The vehicle was impounded for further investigation.