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Material for a meth lab, 4-year-old child found in Thompson man's home

James Hume

A Thompson, N.D., man was arrested Wednesday after law enforcement agents found items relating to a methamphetamine lab and two children in his home, according to the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department.

James Davis Hume, 33, was already on probation from his conviction on two felony counts of child neglect last year.

Sheriff’s deputies recently received information that there might be drug activity in Hume’s home, said Lt. BJ Maxson of the Sheriff’s Department. A person on probation is subject to a search at any time, he said.

Though Hume was not home at the time of the search, a 14-year-old girl and the 4-year-old girl she was babysitting were.

The deputies and Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force agents contacted Amanda Lee Rocha, 32. She also lived at the house but was at work. They requested she return home according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Maxson said she was cooperative and returned home immediately.

He said he did not know whose children the two girls were.

During the search, agents found items relating to a meth lab, including pseudoephedrine — a key ingredient in meth — in the garage. Maxson would not specify what other items were found.

Agents also learned from local drug stores that over a period of about eight months, Rocha and Hume purchased large amounts of pseudoephedrine, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Rocha was also arrested Wednesday and charged with felony child neglect, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.

The children were removed from the home and placed in the custody of Grand Forks County Social Services.

Hume was arrested later that day and charged with manufacturing meth, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. He was also charged with child neglect and possession of drug paraphernalia, each with a maximum prison sentence of five years.

In September 2013, Hume was convicted of child neglect after sheriff’s deputies found him living in a garage attached to his parents’ Reynolds, N.D., home with his two daughters, who were 3 and 4 at the time. The garage did not have running water, was filled with flies and was a hazardous environment for small children, according to Jason McCarthy, the assistant state’s attorney for Grand Forks County who prosecuted that case.

Hume and Rocha are both scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 3 for the preliminary hearing.