Former DA investigator indicted on extortion, drug charges

Former DA investigator indicted on extortion, drug charges

(WVUE) - A Washington Parish grand jury on Thursday indicted a former investigator for the District Attorney's Office on charges that he threatened a female drug offender to get sex, helped her get a narcotic called Suboxone, and traded the influence of his position for sex with another woman.

Michael Cotton, 66, of Bogalusa, was charged with extortion, abuse of office, principal to possession of a Schedule III narcotic, and public bribery for crimes that took place from about March 2013 through about July 10, 2015. The charges were announced jointly Thursday by the District Attorney's Office for Washington and St. Tammany parishes and the Louisiana Attorney General's Office.

"No one is above the law," District Attorney Warren Montgomery said. "Public employees, particularly those charged with enforcing the law, have a higher obligation to abide by the law. It greatly disturbs me that a member of the criminal justice system would deal drugs and prey on the vulnerable. This violates the public trust, and such individuals will be vigorously prosecuted."

Montgomery said the FBI contacted him in the spring about its investigation into Cotton, who had been hired by the previous administration as a part-time investigator in May 2007.  Cotton went on unpaid leave in April 2015 and was fired in August 2015. The District Attorney's Office recused itself from prosecuting the case and contacted the Attorney General's Office.

Cotton's arrest on Dec. 11 resulted from a joint investigation that involved the FBI-New Orleans Division, Louisiana State Inspector General, Louisiana Attorney General's Public Corruption Unit, Louisiana State Police and the District Attorney's Office.

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