May 24, 2019
A former Causeway Police sergeant was found guilty Thursday (May 23) by a St. Tammany parish jury of malfeasance in office and two counts of theft of a firearm.
William "Billy" Jones, 46, was accused of stealing $6,300 in cash, cocaine and two guns from the evidence room he supervised three years ago.
"Mr. Jones held one of the most trusted positions in law enforcement, safeguarding the evidence seized during arrests," District Attorney Warren Montgomery said. "This was a betrayal of that trust."
Jones, a 25-year law enforcement veteran, faces up to five years in prison for malfeasance in office and up to 10 years in prison for the firearms theft. His sentencing date is set for June 13.
Assistant District Attorney Jessica Brewster, who testified at the trial, discovered the cash was missing in November 2016. Louisiana law requires law enforcement agencies to notify the District Attorney's Office within 10 days of a seizure. But Brewster had not been notified and Jones avoided her repeated attempts to contact him, she testified.
Brewster contacted the Causeway Police Department and the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office was brought in to investigate.
Investigators also uncovered that cocaine was missing. Jones confessed to the crime, but testified during the trial that his confession was a lie.
Jones also was convicted of stealing seized guns and selling them while wearing his uniform to a Washington Parish convenience store owner.
"Although the main duties of a law enforcement officer are to protect and serve, as the evidence in this case will show, the defendant did just the opposite," Assistant District Attorney Angelina Valuri said in her opening statement. "He put the citizens of this parish at risk by his actions and served no one but himself."