On behalf of J. Kevin Stockstill, Attorney At Law posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2017.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation frequently cooperates with local law enforcement agencies in the investigation of alleged federal and state crimes. In a bizarre twist on this scenario, the FBI recently raided the offices of two law enforcement agencies in Tangipahoa Parish to obtain evidence regarding suspected federal drug crimes committed by local and federal law enforcement officers.

The raids occurred at the Hammond Police Department and the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office. The raids were conducted pursuant to at least two separate search warrants that were issued in connection with an FBI investigation concerning alleged criminal activity by at least two members of a federal Drug Enforcement Administration task force. An FBI spokesperson said that the agency was conducting "multiple court authorized actions." The agency offered no further comment.

According to persons familiar with the purposes of the raids, members of the DEA task force have been accused of stealing money from apprehended drug dealers, confiscating drugs from the dealers, selling the narcotics and tampering with witnesses. At least one former task force member has been accused of selling narcotics across state lines, misusing DEA databases, stealing money during task force drug raids and other offenses.

These raids mark the beginning of the investigative process. No criminal complaints have been filed or indictments issued. The suspects are entitled to be presumed innocent unless and until they have been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Nevertheless, the suspects are facing potentially serious federal criminal charges. Anyone who is the subject of an investigation relating to such charges may wish to consult an attorney who specializes in defending federal criminal cases. Such a consultation may provide a helpful evaluation of the law and facts of the case and an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.

Source: Law Officer, "FBI Raids Louisiana Police Department, Sheriff's Office," Dec. 16, 2016