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LaPlante Family Crime

August 23, 2001, 11:10 PM by Vernon Brown

LaPlante Family Crime
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Don't have Media Player? Click Here. They don't fit the traditional meaning of a crime family, but few Sioux Falls families have members break the law as often as the LaPlantes. Wednesday night the youngest one, 19-year-old Jared, got into trouble again for marijuana. And there's much more to the story. Police have had their eyes on the LaPlantes for years even warning the parents that their kids were dealing drugs. Then police busted the house in March of 2000 arresting all three boys and parents, Carolyn and Richard LaPlante. Carolyn, a Sioux Falls middle school teacher at the time, had been supervising a program meant to help kids say no to drugs. Then a year later, a jury found the parents guilty of maintaining a drug house for their kids. At the end of July Jesse LaPlante, the 23-year-old son, was in trouble again. He was so drunk or high he couldn't find his way out of an apartment elevator. And then there's Tyler's stash of cash and his younger brothers arrest. The LaPlante family even amazes police. "Ah... pretty unique," says Lt. Doug Barthel. You might wonder whether police finding $27,000 cash hidden in the LaPlante safe a year and a half after its seizure. "We like it when we can take their money... from drug dealers that is," Barthel says. Does it have anything to do with the arrest of Jared LaPlante in the same day? "Just kinda refreshed our memory and thought it's time to go out there and visit them," Barthel says. As a part of the LaPlante parents' probation, police have the right to search the family's home at any time. They found Jared and Tyler inside. Jared allegedly had marijuana seeds on him and a marijuana pipe in his room. Tyler was clean. When police came to the home for the first bust a year and a half ago, Jared walked in during the search. Police arrested him for marijuana then, too. We just couldn't tell you his name because he was a juvenile then. Like before, tips from neighbors about traffic clued in police. Despite reports of increased traffic, police tell us there's no evidence that the LaPlante boys were selling drugs out of the house this time. Where were the parents during this latest arrest? Richard isn't living in the home. He's doing his time on work release. Carolyn starts her jail time in October. The judge staggered their sentences so there'd always be someone living with the boys, but Carolyn was not home at the time of the arrest.

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