Family arrested by sheriff's deputies after reporting home invasion
PRAIRIEVILLE - A family was booked into jail Wednesday after reporting they were victims of a home invasion because deputies found trace amounts of marijuana in their home.
Clay and Dana Cowart, both 45, and their daughter, Tayler, 18, were charged with various drug offenses after Dana Cowart called for help, authorities said. Dana Cowart told Ascension Parish Sheriff's deputies, she was attacked as she walked out of her home when she left for work around 7:30 in the morning.
The attack happened and was investigated Wednesday, but the sheriff's office did not release details about the situation until Thursday night.
Cowart said the two guys, believed to be older teenagers or men in their early twenties, hit her in the head and forced her inside the home on Old Perkins Place Avenue where they made her empty a safe inside. The guys stole a gun and an undisclosed amount of money, Cowart reported to responding deputies.
The victims believe the thieves were friends of the daughter because Cowart recognized their voices and they asked for "Tayler," saying the daughter's name.
But, deputies decided to arrest the mom, dad and daughter when they found extract pieces of marijuana, a device used to break marijuana into small pieces and two pipes used to smoke marijuana.
"While the crime scene unit processed the home for evidence that would possibly assist in identifying the two armed assailants that committed the home invasion, narcotics detectives searched the home for illegal narcotics," Allison Hudson, the department spokeswoman said. According to the sheriff's office, narcotics agents were called when investigators smelled marijuana. Hudson added, the drug paraphernalia was found in the daughter's room and the master bedroom of the home.
Tayler Cowart was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and released from jail shortly after being booked. Her parents were charged with possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and illegal carrying of weapons. The elder Cowarts spent the night in jail and bonded out Thursday.
Hudson said in an email exchange with WBRZ, the marijuana was such a small amount, it was not enough to charge the Cowarts with distribution. She said it was too early in the investigation to speculate if marijuana may have been the reason the home was targeted.
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