LA: DA drops hundreds of drug charges due to Baton Rouge PD corruption

ABC News –


The Baton Rouge Police Department is investigating its narcotics squad amid allegations of wrongdoing, sources told WBRZ Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto.

Tuesday, four high ranking members of the narcotics division were transferred to uniform patrol. Baton Rouge Police said the transfers happened around 1 p.m. Tuesday. The transfers come after the arrests of two narcotics officers over the past four months.

The WBRZ Investigative Unit reported on the arrest of two officers, one as recent as last week.

On Friday, Baton Rouge Police arrested Jason Acree. Acree was charged with one count of distribution/possession of marijuana and one count of malfeasance in office. WBRZ learned, Acree is accused of being caught taking drugs and a colleague turned him in.

A warrant for his arrest states Acree opened a vacuumed sealed bag that contained marijuana, put it in smaller bags and exited the building. Acree resealed the bag with BRPD evidence tape, documents show he also provided friends with THC vape pens for personal use.

Ron Haley is representing Baton Rouge Police Officer Jeremiah Ardoin. Ardoin has been cooperating with investigators since his arrest for possession of stolen things in December.

“I believe the chief is going to do all he can to vet and verify the information,” Haley said. “It was a lot of information that was given. I think it’s proven based on what happened Friday, if other information of bad acts are verified I expect other arrests.”

Ardoin had been a Baton Rouge Police officer for 12 years and was assigned to the Criminal Investigative Bureau. Ardoin was placed on administrative leave.

Prosecutors said with the arrests of Ardoin and Acree, there are challenges with pending and adjudicated cases.

“We are going to have to look at each and every one of our cases that we have that are pending and look at those that have gone through in the past and have been adjudicated,” District Attorney Hillar Moore said. “The number could be in the hundreds between two officers.”

That process could take months, according to Moore.

The WBRZ Investigative Unit has learned the FBI is also investigating. We reached out to them for a comment but have not heard back.

The Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office has dismissed hundreds of drug charges in the wake of arrests of officers in the narcotics division of the Police Department.

As of March 29, District Attorney Hillar Moore has dismissed 640 charges.

Former officers Jeremiah Ardoin and Jason Acree were both charged after an internal investigation led to evidence of corruption. The NAACP and Black Legislative Caucus called for the D.A. to review all drug cases those officers were involved in.

Acree was part of the Baton Rouge Police Department’s narcotics division and was accused of taking drugs that had been seized by the department as evidence.

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