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Nakamoto: How corruption in BRPD led to hundreds of dropped drug charges

3 years 4 weeks 1 day ago Thursday, April 29 2021 Apr 29, 2021 April 29, 2021 9:15 AM April 29, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

***LISTEN to Nakamoto on Talk 107.3 FM Friday at 8:35; Streaming live here***

BATON ROUGE - A Baton Rouge police officer's arrest last year kicked off a domino effect that's now led to hundreds of dropped criminal charges and upheaval within BRPD's narcotics division.

-In December 2020, Officer Jeremiah Ardoin was arrested for possession of stolen property. After his arrest, Ardoin—a 12-year veteran with the department—reported wrongdoing within the narcotics division to his superiors.

-Narcotics Officer Jason Acree, another department veteran, was then arrested over accusations that he stole drugs from an evidence locker and gave them to a friend.

-Just days after Acree's arrest, The Investigative Unit learned an internal investigation into corruption within the narcotics division was underway. Four high-ranking members of the narcotics division were transferred to uniform patrol amid that investigation.

-Weeks later, District Attorney Hillar Moore announced his office was dropping some drug charges that were tied back to the officers accused of criminal activity.

-By the end of March, the D.A.'s office had dismissed more than 600 drug charges.

-New video obtained by the Investigative Unit in April then revealed that Officer Jason Acree was caught on camera smashing evidence related to a drug case back in 2018. The suspect in that case was later arrested and convicted.

-A woman claimed she was wrongfully convicted on drug charges after spending three years in prison. Two officers who were transferred out of the narcotics division this year were the key witnesses in her case.

-This past week, prosecutors dropped dozens more drug charges tied back to BRPD's narcotics division, putting the total number of dropped counts over 700.

-Officer Jeremiah Ardoin, who'd been on administrative leave since his arrest, resigned Tuesday. In his letter to Police Chief Murphy Paul, he alleged "employees who have lied and illegally planted drugs on me are still employed there."

- Jeremiah Ardoin spoke with Chris Nakamoto in an exclusive interview, suggesting his arrest was a set-up. In his tell-all interview, he shed light on coverups, discussions of planting drugs on innocent people and quotas within the department. 

- In a follow-up story about the bombshell quotas within the drug division at BRPD, a legal expert believes a 'day of reckoning' is coming for city police and the justice system in EBR.

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