Grand Isle Police Dept. investigated for mishandling evidence, c - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Grand Isle Police Dept. investigated for mishandling evidence, cash

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JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) -

An investigation that started in July of 2014 in the small, close-knit community of Grand Isle has led to more than just drug arrests.

“We do have evidence that causes us grave and significant concern,” Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said Wednesday.

The long undercover sting revealed allegations of improprieties within the Grand Isle Police Department, prompting the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office to execute a search warrant at police headquarters. Normand showed an empty evidence bag found by his detectives in the Grand Isle police evidence room.

“This is how we find the evidence bag. There’s no destruction order issued by the court, but the marijuana is gone,” Normand said.

Computers were seized, along with several empty evidence bags.

“We seized this gun from Chief Dubois’ desk and asked him whose gun this was. He’s answer was, 'I don’t know.' Where did the gun come from? 'I don’t know,'” Normand said.

The sheriff also said $4,000 from a cash box that was supposed to be used by the Grand Isle Police to pay informants or make undercover buys is missing and unaccounted for.

“And the chief described that he used to keep the keys to the cash box in his barbeque pit, and everybody knew the keys were in the barbeque pit,” Normand said.

The Sheriff said it’s unclear if the chief or his officers did anything criminal, but the investigation isn’t over.

Meanwhile, multiple drug arrests were made since 2014, including the arrest of the now former Grand Isle fire chief.

This week, a Jefferson Parish grand jury indicted an additional 18 people for drug distribution, including heroin, meth, cocaine and marijuana. Even with multiple arrests, an indictment and search warrants executed, Normand said the investigation is still in its early stages.

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