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Longtime lawyer charged with felonies, accused of trying to bring drugs into jail

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PORT ALLEN - A Baton Rouge lawyer was arrested Tuesday morning after investigators learned he allegedly tried to smuggle contraband into a jail.

Michael Fontenot was picked up by U.S. Marshals at his Riverbend home and booked into the East Baton Rouge jail, accused of criminal conspiracy and trying to bring contraband into a prison. He has since been transferred to the West Baton Rouge Parish jail.

As Fontenot walked into jail Tuesday, he denied trying to smuggle drugs inside.

"He can claim whatever he wants to claim," Major Zack Simmers with the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office said. "The facts that were given to me, there's no way this was a misunderstanding."

According to the warrant for Fontenot’s arrest, investigators were listening to jail phone calls when information pertaining to a March 30, 2021 phone call was forwarded to the narcotics division. Investigators determined Fontenot was talking to inmate Arthur Breaux, and Breaux asked Fontenot if he would be willing to give narcotics to a delivery person.

Fontenot agreed to give Percocet to a work release worker and then smuggle them across the street to Breaux inside the prison.

"This will not be tolerated," Simmers said. "It shows that nobody is above the law, lawyers, police anybody. If you are trying to smuggle drugs into our jail you will eventually be caught."

During the course of the investigation, investigators noted that this distribution meet had happened before this date as well. An unidentified person admitted to investigators they traveled to Baton Rouge and had done this before.

Because the transaction occurred in East Baton Rouge, narcotics officers for EBRSO were also notified.

State records show Fontenot has been a lawyer for more than 40 years and has no discipline on his record. The drugs were picked up from his home in the Riverbend subdivision.

A judge set Fontenot's bond at $45,000. As of Tuesday night, Fontenot has posted his bail and was released from custody. 

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