BYLINE: Eric Heisig, Staff Writer
NAPOLEONVILLE — A former Assumption sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty to 438 malfeasance and drug charges Tuesday morning, and now faces more than 1,400 years in prison for allegedly using seized drugs to feed his addiction.
Louis Lambert, 48, 129 Sycamore St., Labadieville, served as the Assumption Sheriff's Office's evidence custodian for seven years. In April 2010, suspicions arose after deputies learned evidence in a drug case set for trial had been mishandled.
State Police arrested Lambert in June following a three-month investigating into his alleged altering, replacing and removing of drugs from closed and current cases.
Lambert was indicted in October, and pleaded guilty Tuesday to the following charges:
– 336 counts of malfeasance in office for tampering with evidence.
– 35 counts of possession of marijuana.
– 24 counts of possession of cocaine.
– 14 counts of illegal possession of a firearm while in possession of drugs.
– 11 counts of possession of a legend drug.
– 10 counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.
– Four counts of theft of a firearm.
– One count of theft under $300.
– One count of possession of oxycodone.
– One count possession of trenbolone acetate (steroids).
– One count possession of alprazolam.
Evidence custodians are asked to ensure the integrity of evidence from the time it is collected until the case goes to trial and testify at trials about the process the evidence underwent to get to that stage. The number of malfeasance, drug and weapons counts Lambert faces refer to the number of pieces of evidence he allegedly altered, removed or destroyed.
Lambert's actions caused charges against less than 20 people to be dropped, said District Attorney Ricky Babin, but others had to be altered or reduced. However, the majority of the cases affected by Lambert were closed, Babin said.
No trial date had been set. Lambert's sentencing is set for July 6 in 23rd Judicial District Court Judge Jane Triche-Milazzo's courtroom in Napoleonville. He is currently free on bond.
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International Association for Property and Evidence
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