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Assumption Parish sheriff’s deputy charged in tampering case
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BYLINE: Raymond Legendre, Staff Writer

Assumption Parish, LA

THIBODAUX — A former Assumption sheriff’s deputy faces hundreds of counts of malfeasance in office after a three-month State Police investigation alleged he used drugs seized as evidence by his department’s narcotics agents.

Lt. Louis Lambert, who spent seven years as the agency’s evidence custodian, allegedly used cocaine, marijuana and pills from the evidence room to feed his growing drug addiction, Assumption Sheriff Mike Waguespack said.

Lambert, 47, of Labadieville, had long existing “pain management issues” due to a knee injury suffered more than a decade ago, the sheriff added, but it was unclear what role his injury played in his alleged crimes. Lambert has not spoken to authorities since the investigation started.

“It’s a situation where the individual became addicted and used the evidence vault as a medicine cabinet,” Waguespack said. “This is a sheriff’s worst nightmare as far as evidence is concerned.”

Lambert was arrested and charged late Friday night with 538 counts of malfeasance in office (tampering with evidence), 17 counts of illegal carrying of a weapon with narcotics and one count of possession with intent to distribute a schedule I narcotic. He was also arrested on an outstanding warrant in Lafourche Parish for obtaining a controlled dangerous substance by fraud.

He was being held Saturday at the Assumption Parish jail without bond.

It was unclear Saturday night how many court cases or drug prosecuitions might be affected by Lambert’s alleged actions. Phone calls made to Assumption District Attorney Ricky Babin were not returned.

Waguespack said he expects prosecutions to go forward in many active cases, in which video evidence and deputy testimony can be used in court.

“This is not a situation where there will be blanket dismissals of all drug cases,” he assured.

Most of the items Lambert is accused of tampering with were from cases that had already been completed, Waguespack said.

Asked why no one discovered Lambert’s alleged misdeeds sooner, Waguespack explained there was generally no reason to look at or deal with evidence in closed cases, so other deputies would not have noticed anything awry. Lambert was a “loyal” employee who gave no signs of drug addiction, the sheriff added.

Staff Writer Raymond Legendre can be reached at 448-7617 or . Follow him on Twitter @cometcrime.

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