Colvin gets 15 years in courthouse cocaine conspiracy
BATON ROUGE - A judge formally sentenced former court clerk William Colvin to 15 years in jail Tuesday for stealing cocaine from an evidence locker at the East Baton Rouge courthouse in order to sell it.
Colvin pleaded guilty to malfeasance, cocaine possession, and obstruction of justice charges in order to get the 15-year deal. Prosecutors said if he didn't accept it they'd try him in November on the full range of charges which carried a much heftier sentence.
Colvin and another former clerk, Debra Bell, were indicted along with four others of being involved in a scheme to steal drugs and guns from the 19th Judicial District Courthouse evidence room in 2012 and sell them. Investigators said Colvin and Bell, who were in a relationship, stored the cocaine at her house. They claimed Colvin distributed some of the cocaine himself, while Bell gave some to her son Colt Bell and another man, Terrance Ramirez, to sell.
After their arrests investigators said both Colvin and Bell confessed to the crimes, and Bell said her son was extorting Colvin to steal the drugs from the evidence room. Two other people, Deroy Joseph and Larry Collins, were indicted for cocaine possession along with the Bells, Colvin and Ramirez.
Debra Bell previously pleaded guilty for her part in the conspiracy, and received a suspended sentence of five years. Ramirez received a nine-year sentence and a seven-and-a-half-year sentence for his guilty plea, while Colt Bell received a 12-year and seven-and-a-half year sentence for his guilty plea.
Several additional security measures were put in place at the 19th JDC after the thefts were discovered.