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Serious drug charges filed against deputy in West Baton Rouge

One reason many Louisiana criminal defendants feel so disoriented after an arrest is lack of knowledge. Most people have never been exposed to the legal process and may imagine it to be, through the influence of television or movies, something entirely different than it really is. Fear is a common reaction when you don't know the obstacles ahead.

A major in the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Department may have known what to expect during an arrest, but not from the perspective of a defendant. The man served on the force 17 years and spent 15 years before that working for the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office. The man now faces two hard blows -- serious drug charges and a ruined reputation.

A police report said investigators found crack cocaine and a variety of prescription drugs in the defendant's possession at the time of the late-night arrest. Authorities refused to budge on details about the investigation that led the action. The defendant, who worked in the department's computer technology unit, once served as the head of the narcotics division.

Prior to the arrest, the major was placed under suspension for another matter that officials said had no relation to the drug offenses. The veteran officer resigned sometime after the suspension and his arrest. Officers reported seizing Valium, Oxycodone and codeine pills along with a gram of crack cocaine.

The now-former sheriff's department employee was booked on a drug possession with intent to distribute and malfeasance in office charges. Louisiana statute 14:134 is a law dealing with corruption of a public official's duties, punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and a possible fine of $5,000. Punishments for drug crimes vary, according to substance, quantity and purpose.

A defendant's suffering isn't all about the legal system. Criminal charges swiftly can affect a defendant's social or professional status. Legal protection may be needed on several fronts.

Source: The Advocate, "West Baton Rouge deputy jailed on drug counts" No author given, Apr. 08, 2014

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