NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - He was a longtime St. Bernard cop and now he's looking at 17 years in the jail.
Brandon Licciardi, 31, changed his plea to guilty today to his role in the Darren Sharper drug rape case.
It was a stunning fall from grace. A former deputy wearing shackles and an orange prison jump suit, admitting guilt today for his role in a scheme to drug women with ambien in many cases before they were raped.
Licciardi made frequent eye contact with more than 20 family members as some wept openly.
He pleaded guilty to one count of participating in a conspiracy to drug victims without their knowledge in order to commit a crime of violence.
His attorney says he will also plead guilty next week to four state counts involving rape and sex trafficking charges against three victims.
Friday's guilty plea comes just two days after a jury was picked for this federal case to go to trial. That is no longer necessary.
Licciardi will be formally sentenced to 17 years in October. Sharper has already pleaded guilty and accepted a 20-year deal.
The maximum sentence is 20 years and a fine of $250,000.
Licciardi's plea today was part of a resolution of both federal and the criminal district court charges.