JASPER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office arrested a Buna couple after one of the three small children that lived with them tested positive for marijuana.
When the JCSO deputies went to serve an assault warrant on the woman for hitting a doctor, they found various items of drug paraphernalia hidden in a baby formula container.
Aaron Slade Helm, 25, and Desirae Autumn West, 26, both of Buna, were each arrested and charged with state-jail felony endangering a child - criminal negligence. Each of the posted a bail amount of $10,000 and was released from the Jasper County Jail on May 13.
According to the arrest warrant East Texas News obtained on Monday, JCSO deputies went to a home on County Road 764 in Buna to serve an assault arrest warrant on West on April 7. When they got there, they heard children's voices coming from inside the small mobile home.
After the deputies knocked, and West opened the door, the JCSO deputy that got the child endangerment warrant noticed "the strong smell of marijuana" coming from inside the home.
Upon learning about the warrant, West asked if she could call Helm, her husband, to see if he could take care of the children. She also told the deputies that she didn't have any choice but to hit the doctor "because he got into her face and would not let her leave," the affidavit stated.
At that point, one of the JCSO deputies asked West if she had a phone on her at the time. When she responded yes, he told her that she could have called 911 instead.
While the deputies were talking to West, one of them noticed that the living room's entertainment center and television had been pulled in front of the doorway to a connected room, the affidavit stated.
"Two small children were blocked in behind the entertainment center and television," the affidavit stated.
At a question about why the furniture was in that location, West allegedly said that she couldn't take care of the baby because the two small boys wouldn't listen to her. She said she barricaded the boys in their room, so she could take care of the baby.
Later, one of the JCSO deputies asked about the strong smell of marijuana coming from the home, and West denied smelling any marijuana, the affidavit stated. When Helm arrived at the home a few minutes later, one of the deputies asked him about the smell.
Helm then allegedly admitted to having a pipe in the bedroom and gave the JCSO deputies permission to search the home. A few minutes later, one of the deputies returned with a white and orange Similac baby formula container that had a glass pipe, a marijuana grinder, a metal pipe, rolling papers, a metal "push rod," and a Gerber baby food jar containing a green, leafy substance believed to be marijuana, the affidavit stated.
Further investigation revealed that Child Protective Services was already investigating an incident in which West brought her child to the Buna Medical Clinic with a broken arm. The JCSO lieutenant told the CPS investigator that was when West allegedly assaulted the doctor.
Helm, West, and the 9-month-old baby girl all tested positive for marijuana when they were drug-tested back in April, the affidavit stated. The two small boys' drug tests came back negative.