So, what do you do when your local police department has become so corrupt that they cannot be trusted with their own evidence room? Well, you send in the sheriff with a search warrant to find out how untrustworthy they are. Such was the case with the Grand Isle Police Department last week as the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s office executed a search warrant for “missing evidence.”
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said that his office had made a very unusual move in raiding another law enforcement agency. However, he claims that several of his office’s undercover drug investigations over the past few year have been stifled due to the fact that the Grand Isla Police have interfered in the cases.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant during the early morning hours Tuesday at the department after they uncovered allegations of corruption.
Investigators seized police reports, 32 firearms and other evidence. But no police were arrested.
Sheriff Normand told the media that investigators “were made aware of a lot of improprieties” by residents and arrested suspects, saying strange things about the department’s conduct. Then investigators began to uncover “things that are problematic that run contrary to safe controls as it relates to money and evidence.” Sheriff Normand said an evidence bag with 87 grams of marijuana was ripped open and the marijuana was missing, but no destruction order was ever filed. A gun was found in the desk of Grand Isle Police Chief Euris Dubois. When he was asked questions about it, he would just respond with “I don’t know.” There was also $4,000 missing from a cash box. Sheriff Normand said these are just a few examples of what has been uncovered.
Dubois was asked whether he ever conducted inventory of the evidence storage box.
“Every now and then we open it up and we look, we eyeball it and we know from the top what they should have on the top and everything was there all the time, yeah,” he said.
In referencing the $4,000 in cash that was missing, Dubois said, “I don’t need that $4,000. Busted my rectum to get grants to get that money in that box. I’m not surely gonna go take it.”
However, Dubois’ own “security” seems a bit sloppy.
“My office key is in that BBQ pit. The reason I leave it there is I’ve got a modem for the computers in my office. Now, once a week, maybe twice a week, that modem goes out and you’ve gotta go in my office and reprogram everything. So, that’s why I leave my key there,” Dubois said.
“Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand detailed cases of sloppy evidence storage and other improprieties within the Grand Isle Police Department following the arrests of 21 suspects in an ongoing investigation into drug dealing on the island,” adds NOLA. “JPSO investigators seized 32 guns, police reports and other evidence from department in a search warrant executed Tuesday Normand said during a press conference Wednesday (March 16). Investigators found evidence bags of marijuana that had been torn open and appeared to have marijuana missing, Normand said.”
Still, Sheriff Normand said, “I’m not suggesting that the chief did anything criminal. I don’t know. What we have is a bunch of unanswered questions relative to missing evidence, missing money, don’t know who the owners of guns are, keys to the cash box for money being in the BBQ pit and everybody knowing it’s there.”
I would suggest that a police chief how does such things may not be engaging in criminal activity, but he definitely is not trustworthy enough to be running a police department.
This is only one of many reasons I stand against the “war on drugs,” but am also rethinking how people should govern themselves apart from police departments.