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Louisiana ex-trooper faces trafficking and other charges

The consequences of an arrest and criminal accusations are often swift and harsh. Instant personal communication will transmit an alleged wrongdoing to the public well before the news reaches radio or television. A family, employer or entire community may have a strong, immediate negative response.

Drug offenses may be among the most damaging charges a Baton Rouge defendant can face. A career or reputation that has taken decades to build can be shattered instantly by allegations. A loved one, friend or colleague may not wait to hear a verdict before creating distance or abandoning you.

A Northern Louisiana state trooper with an 18-year history of service is preparing for trial. The former sergeant, who was working as an evidence custodian, was arrested by his co-workers last spring. The charges against the defendant have the potential to imprison the Monroe man for the rest of his life.

The charges include obstruction of justice, payroll fraud, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, drug distribution and malfeasance - also known as official misconduct. The maximum penalties with conviction are 92 years of imprisonment and a fine of $76,000.

Police said troopers were working on another case when they learned the sergeant might be linked to unlawful activity. Investigators spent several months gathering evidence before moving in to arrest their colleague.

A search and seizure uncovered a stolen firearm and almost $50,000 in cash. Multiple vehicles and a boat were also found and taken by authorities. Another man was arrested and charged with distribution of Hydrocodone and marijuana.

Investigators said the second defendant conspired with the state trooper to traffic cocaine throughout the northeastern part of the state. The accused officer allegedly ordered the disposal of evidence.

A criminal defense attorney can aid a defendant, even when evidence seems irrefutable. Negotiations with prosecutors may produce a plea deal that softens or eliminates charges and lengthy punishment.

Source: The News Star, "Former trooper in court on drug charges" Barbara Leader, Dec. 16, 2013

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