Ernie Clay Hargrove.jpg

Ouachita Parish sheriff's deputies arrested a homeless man on several drug charges including operation of a clandestine laboratory last week after responding to a shoplifting complaint possibly involving the same suspect.

When deputies made contact with Ernie Clay Hargrove, 23, of West Monroe, they saw him throw a bottle to the ground.

“The (suspect) did not comply with verbal instructions and put both of his hands in his pockets after numerous times of being told to take them out of his pockets and turn around,” stated the Sept. 2 arrest report. “He kept his hands in his pockets, made a quick turn and (stepped) away from me at which time I deployed my taser.”

Hargrove claimed he was a “sovereign citizen,” a reference to the sovereign citizen movement which stipulates that citizens have the power to decide which laws or authorities they must obey.

Hargrove also told deputies the bottle he threw contained “ice,” a street name for methamphetamine.

“He also stated he used the bottle to make meth and used a syringe which he threw down to shoot up the meth he was making in the bottle,” stated the arrest report.

Hargrove was booked at Ouachita Correctional Center on the above charge as well as on theft, resisting an officer, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of meth.

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