Officer put on leave pending investigation

The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Main Edition
BYLINE: RIVER PARISHES BUREAU

Assumption Parish, LA

Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said he placed a 17-year-veteran lieutenant on administrative leave and called for an audit of all evidence on hand after allegations surfaced that evidence may have been mishandled in a narcotics case.

Waguespack said he placed Lt. Louis Lambert, 47, of Labadieville, on leave Sunday after receiving an initial report on an investigation by the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office's Internal Affairs Division.

The Assumption Parish Sheriff said he contacted Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre to conduct the investigation because Lambert, an evidence custodian, was supervised by Waguespack's Internal Affairs Division.

Louisiana State Police Detectives have been asked to conduct "a full and complete external investigation of this matter," Waguespack said.

While preparing for a drug trial last week, Waguespack said deputies in his department discovered that some of the narcotics associated with the case may have been mishandled by Lambert.

Waguespack said he contacted 23rd Judicial District Attorney Ricky Babin about the apparent problem with the evidence.

The case was continued earlier this week because of the allegations, Waguespack said.

The 23rd Judicial District Court covers Ascension, St. James and Assumption parishes.

Waguespack said he is in the process of hiring an experienced private company to conduct an audit of all evidence on hand and issue a report within 30 days of completion.

"While we hope this is an isolated incident, we will not be able to draw any conclusions or make any assumptions until a full and complete audit of the custodian's evidence has been completed," according to a release from Waguespack.

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International Association for Property and Evidence
"Law Enforcement Serving the Needs of Law Enforcement"
www.IAPE.org
Audit finds detachments mishandled evidence:
‘Mishandled’ evidence leads to deputy’s suspension

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