News Releases - February 2013 Archived News Releases          

 

Registered sex offender in St. Bernard booked with aggravated rape of a child who was left with him

Marvin Santiago, booked in St. Bernard Parish with aggravated rape of a child.

Feb. 27, 2013 - A registered sex offender in St. Bernard Parish, who served 17 years in prison for forcible rape of a woman, has been booked with aggravated rape of a child from the Baton Rouge area who was left with him to watch in April 2012, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Marvin Santiago, 53, of Violet, who is still on parole, was arrested Tuesday, Feb 19, after the child’s mother came to the Sheriff’s Office on the night of Mardi Gras to report the boy - under questioning from her - identified Santiago as having molested him, the sheriff said.

The child had been reporting he was in pain and the mother, acting on suspicions, questioned him about whether anyone had touched him, and he named Santiago, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

Sheriff’s detectives from the Juvenile Division went to the boy’s home in the Baton Rouge area for a follow-up investigation, questioning the child themselves. Detectives then went to a St. Bernard judge who signed a warrant for Santiago’s arrest on charges of aggravated rape of a juvenile and sexual battery, the sheriff said.

Santiago is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison on bond of $200,000 and also has a hold on him for parole violation and couldn’t be bonded out, the sheriff said.

The mother wasn’t the person who left the child with Santiago, Sheriff Pohlmann said. She had brought him to St. Bernard Parish in April 2012 for them to visit relatives and at one point the relatives were baby-sitting the child for the mother. It was the relatives who then allowed Santiago to watch the child without the mother’s knowledge, the sheriff said.

Santiago, arrested at work, denied the allegations.

 

 

 

 

 

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Decomposed remains found at site in St. Bernard, NOPD confirms

An excavating machine, shown in the background, was used to find human remains at site in Easter St. Bernard in an investigation by New Orleans police. Steve Cannizaro Photo. An excavating machine, borrowed from St. Bernard Parish government, is shown digging up an area where a man's body was recovered Tuesday about 75 yards off Florissant Highway, on the road to the Yscloskey, Shell Beach and Hopedale areas in eastern St. Bernard, New Orleans police said they had received information a man had been killed in the city last summer and buried in St. Bernard. St. Bernard's Sheriff's Office assisted in the operation. STEVE CANNIZARO PHOTO.
New Orleans police working the investigation of a missing person case used the command center shown to secure a site in eastern St. Bernard until excavation efforts took place Tuesday, which resulted in the finding of a man's body.buried several feet in the ground. The command center was supplied by parish government in cooperation with the St. Bernard Sheriff's Office. STEVE CANNIZARO PHOTO.. Members of an anthropology team from LSU walk up the ridge in eastern St. Bernard Parish to the site of where they were involved in recovering the body of a man reportedly killed in the city last summer and buried in St. Bernard. NOPD is continuing its investigation, trying to positively identify the victim and his killr. STEVE CANNIZARO PHOTO.

Feb. 26, 2013 - New Orleans police have confirmed that decomposed remains have been found at a site in eastern St. Bernard Parish which may be the body of a man allegedly killed in the city and buried in St. Bernard.

Excavation will continue at the site off Florissant Highway, the road to Shell Beach, Hopedale and Yscloskey.

New Orleans police and an anthropology team from LSU were on the scene.

St. Bernard Sheriff's deputies are also on the scene on Florissant Highway, the road to Shell Beach, Yscloskey and Hopedale.

Sheriff James Pohlmann said his department was advised early on in the Investigation and has been assisting NOPD.

Colonel John Doran, Chief of Operations including all enforcement, was on the scene and said that what appears to be human remains were found several feet in the ground after an excavator from parish goverment was used to clear an area 10'x 20'.  Whatever remains are recovered will be taken to the Orleans coronoers office and NOPD would continue the investigation.  St. Bernard Sheriff's Department has been assisting NOPD in this case, including obtaining a search warrant from a judge to search the property.

NOPD acknowledged Monday a missing person investigation in which they received information a man was killed in the city and may be buried in St. Bernard.

 

 

 

 

 

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Kenner cab driver arrested with $2,100 in high-grade marijuana after crashing cab into a sheriff’s vehicle as he tried to flee, causing $5,000 damage; Also, 2 teens on stolen cycle lead deputies on 20-minute chase

Lanny "June'' Williams,booked in St. Bernard with possession with intent to sell high-grade marijuana after crashing his cab into a sheriff's car. About $2,100 worth of high-grade marijuana seized in Williams' arrest. St. bernard Parish sheriff's car damaged when Williams crashed into it trying to flee

Feb. 25, 2013 -A cab driver from Kenner was arrested in Chalmette on Feb. 22 with $2,100 in high-grade marijuana after he crashed his cab into a sheriff’s vehicle while trying to flee narcotics agents, causing $5,000 damage to the sheriff’s car, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Lanny “June’’ Williams, 45, came to a location in a parking lot on Paris Road in mid-afternoon, where narcotics agents who believed he was delivering high-grade marijuana closed in on Williams’ cab.

Williams accelerated in an effort to flee when he saw police and intentionally crashed into the front end of a marked sheriff’s unit, then continued to drive before stalling in a large area of mud and water, the sheriff said.

Williams, who had thrown a large, clear bag of vegetable matter from his car before he stalled, tried to run away when he couldn’t drive further but was quickly caught by agents.

Sheriff Pohlmann said no one was injured when the sheriff’s car was hit and the damage was estimated at $5,000.

The bag the suspect threw from his cab contained just under one-quarter pound of high-grade marijuana, worth more than $2,100 on the streets, authorities said.

Williams has an extensive criminal record including convictions for aggravated assault and illegal carrying of a firearm.

He was booked with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, attempted murder of a police officer for intentionally striking the sheriff’s vehicle and aggravated criminal damage to the vehicle he crashed into. Williams was also booked with aggravated flight from police and resisting arrest. No bond had been set pending an appearance by Williams before a judge.

In an unrelated arrest, Izeah White, 17, of Chalmette and a 15-year-old Chalmette girl were arrested Feb. 21 about 5:30 p.m. after leading sheriff’s deputies on about a 20-minute chase in Meraux and Violet as they fled on a stolen motorcycle, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

White, 3212 Dauterive Drive, was booked with theft of a motorcycle and he and the juvenile, whose name wasn’t released, were both booked with possession of stolen property and probation violation. Sheriff;s deputies followed them to the top of the Mississippi River levee behind a residence in the 4600 block of East St. Bernard Highway. They were initially spotted on the stolen cycle on East Judge Perez Drive.

A Chalmette man reported earlier that day that his motorcycle was missing from the backyard of his residence.

When the pair were caught, the victim identified his property and identified White as the man he saw acting suspiciously near his home the afternoon before his motorcycle was stolen.

White initially said he had bought the cycle, then said he found it and finally admitted he stole it from a Chalmette residence, the sheriff said.

White, also booked with flight from an officer, is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison in lieu of $40,000 bond.

The girl was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center.

 

 

 

 

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Two men arrested trying to bring $500 worth of methamphetamine into St. Bernard Parish and separately a man caught breaking into a store

                           Wade Crawford, left, and Mitchell Moody, both booked with meth in St. Bernard Parish Irvin Secrest, caught in act of burglaring a store in St. Bernard

Feb. 21, 2013 -Two men, one from Chalmette and the other from Picayune, Ms., were caught trying to bring $500 worth of methamphetamine into St. Bernard Parish, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Separately, a sheriff’s deputy spotted a man trying to break into a store in eastern St. Bernard Tuesday night, Feb. 19, and chased him into a wooded area to arrest him, the sheriff said.

Wade Crawford, 34, 2401 Jean Lafitte Parkway, Chalmette, and Mitchell Moody, 32, of Picayune, were booked Feb. 15 with possession of 5.2 grams of meth, worth $100 per gram or just over $500, with intent to distribute.

Both were being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison.

The men were stopped about mid-day as they drove into the parish from New Orleans after Crawford, who was driving, nearly rear-ended another vehicle, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

Moody, the passenger, was holding an open alcohol container, a 24-ounce can of beer.

Agents Lance Kramer, Lt. Chip Englande and Lt. Richard Jackson, all of the Narcotics Unit commanded by Maj. Chad Clark, questioned the men out of their vehicle and while doing so a clear plastic bag containing the meth fell to the ground between both suspects, the sheriff said.

The drug was in several small bags containing a glass-like substance which tested positive for meth. Both men denied ownership. Two syringes were also found in their vehicle.

Moody, who has a previous drug conviction, and Crawford were booked with possession of meth with intent to distribute and with possession of drug paraphernalia. Crawford was also booked with not having a driver’s license and Moody with having an open alcohol container and with resisting arrest.

Separately, Irvin Secrest, 26, 45 Randazzo Drive in eastern St. Bernard, was found Tuesday night trying to break into a store that was closed and was booked with attempted burglary, Sheriff Pohlmann said. He was jailed pending an appearance before a judge to have bond set.

Dep. Leander Morgan, responding to a burglary alarm at a store on Bayou Road in eastern St. Bernard, saw a subject striking a door with a crowbar and the man ran.

Morgan located Secrest trying to hide behind a tree stump in a patch of woods. The crowbar and other tools were found outside the store.

 

 

 

 

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Sheriff’s prison work crew plants trees and bushes to held beautify St. Bernard Highway as a state Scenic By-Way

Feb. 20, 2013 -A St. Bernard Parish Sheriff Office trusty work crew, led by Deputy James Harper, joined Parks & Parkways Commissioners Joey Englert and Howard Luna, and St. Bernard Community Foundation Director Polly Campbell to plant ten large crape myrtles and nearly 50 knock-out rose bushes along St. Bernard Highway on Friday, February 15.

Parish government's Road Crew began the effort by picking up litter, mowing and weeding earlier that same morning.

nard Highway has been designated as a State Scenic By-Way. It will serve as the entry way for the national celebration of the Bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans in 2015.

Businesses along this scenic highway can join efforts by preventing litter, and by fencing and landscaping. For information regarding a business beautification matching grant or to make donations toward beautification efforts call 504-554-7134. Photo by Polly Campbell.

 

 

 

 

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Couple booked in bar Chalmette burglary after their apartment key is found at the scene

Robert Clark III and Jaime Schlosser, booked with business burglary
Feb. 17, 2013 -There have been many true stories of so-called “dumb criminals’’ making it easier for police to find them.

Like the man who handed over a demand note in a bank robbery, written on the back of his checking deposit slip with his name and address printed on it. Or the convenience store robber who dropped his drivers’ license from a pocket. And the motorist seen buying drugs on a street and fleeing in a truck with a for sale sign in the back window listing his phone number.

Now, to that list can be added another way to get arrested: when your apartment door key is found on the floor at the scene of a burglary and becomes evidence against you.

Sheriff James Pohlmann said a Chalmette couple was booked with business burglary of a bar on Feb. 13 by St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s detectives who had located a key, with a green cord attached, that was on the floor near a pool table while investigating the break-in. Numerous cartons of cigarettes were taken about 2 a.m. on Jan. 31 in the burglary of a Judge Perez Drive bar in Chalmette, the sheriff said.

Arrested were Robert J. Clark III, 35, and Jaime Schlosser, 37, both of whom listed their address as 2004 Culotta St., Apt. B, Chalmette. Both have since been released from kail on $10,000 bonds each.

There was more to the case than finding the key, the sheriff said.

He said investigation by Det. Sgt. Donald Johnson, assigned the case, and others led to information which pointed to the couple as suspects and there was also physical evidence of interest at the scene.

When the suspects were located, an additional factor in their arrest was that the door key found after the burglary did fit their apartment door, the sheriff said.

The bar had been closed for the night about 1 a.m. and no key was seen on the floor at that time, a sheriff’s report said, but was spotted by Det. Johnson while processing the scene after the burglary was discovered.

Both arrested suspects denied involvement in the break-in, the sheriff said.

 

 

 

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Lt. Richard Jackson of Violet now the 18th St. Bernard sheriff’s deputy to graduate the prestigious FBI National Training Academy in Quantico, Va.

Lt. Richard Jackson, graduated FBI National Training Academy Lt. Richard Jackson, right, places handcuffs on a suspect in a September 2012 round-up of St. Bernard residents wanted on arrest warrants for drug.-dealing. STEVE CANNIZARO PHOTO.

Feb. 15, 2013 -When Lt. Richard Jackson of the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office was attending the FBI’s prestigious National Training Academy in Quantico, Va., late last year for its 10-week session an odd thing happened – at least by the standards of American cops.

“A guy in our class from Afghanistan’s wife called to tell him a bomb exploded and blew all the windows out of their house,’’ Jackson said, recalling the unusual situation.

“He said he told her just to board it up until he got home.’’

The Afghanistan officer also “spoke to us about dealing with suicide bombers’’ as if it was a regular thing that could happen any time, Jackson said.

In all, it was a reality check for a suburban policeman like Jackson, a narcotics enforcement officer more used to fighting drug-dealers than people setting off bombs in life-and-death battles with law enforcement.

It was part of what made attending the FBI training class so interesting.

“It opens your eyes to a lot of things,’’ said Jackson, who has spent 19 years with the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office. A native of Detroit, he has lived in St. Bernard 25 years. His wife, Lt. Lisa Jackson, is commander of the D.A.R.E. program for the Sheriff’s Office.

“There are so many people there (at the FBI class), you meet officers from all over and it’s a good chance to learn something from others, contribute something and take interesting courses like one I had on leadership, ethics and decision-making,’’ said Jackson. You also have the chance to make invaluable contacts with others.

“At this point in my career it was the best thing that could happen to me,’’ Jackson said.

There were 269 officers in his class, including 30 from other countries including three from African nations. Locally, police from Mandeville, Bogalusa, East Baton Rouge Parish and Ascension Parish were there with him from Louisiana.

Jackson had been an undercover security officer for a grocery store chain, catching shoplifters, when he got to know sheriff’s deputies and became interested in police work. First, he was accepted into the sheriff’s Reserve Division, then became a full-time deputy doing patrol work and eventually moved into narcotics enforcement.

Jackson said he decided he wanted to work in the Narcotics Unit because, living in Violet, he was in position to hear about things in that section of the parish “and I wanted to keep it (drugs) out of my neighborhood.’’

“It’s been an experience’’ dealing with drug cases and has given him the chance to take “all types of different courses and classes.’’

Working drug enforcement is so important, he said, because most property crime seems to be fueled by people looking for something to steal to feed their drug addiction.

“If you can stop drug activity you control your crime rate.’’

When he graduated the FBI class late last year Jackson was the 18th St. Bernard sheriff’s deputy to be accepted and go through the FBI National Training Academy.

Sheriff James Pohlmann said Jackson was a worthy selection to attend the FBI 10-week training and also said that for a relatively small department like St. Bernard’s to have had 18 officers selected over the years is a real compliment.

Established in the 1930s, the training academy is for professional development of police officers who have attained rank in their local departments.

As well as being academically interesting, the course is also physically challenging, with runs that progress to 10 kilometers, 6.2 miles, and includes 3 miles of an obstacle course.

Jackson, like other St. Bernard officers who previously graduated the FBI session, said he believes the Sheriff’s Office keeps getting invitations for officers to attend because everyone has done well there and because of ongoing participation by graduates in the national alumni chapter, the Louisiana National Academy Association.

St. Bernard is a very active participant in that group, he said.

Jackson said when he took a forensic science class at the FBI training session there was an enlightening experiment.

The instructor asked for a class member to put up a $5 bill and Jackson stepped forward. Then the instructor ran the bill through a machine used to analyze particles and announced the note had traces of cocaine.

Jackson said the point was made that so much of our nation’s cash has been near the day-to-day sale of drugs that when large amounts of money are mixed together at banks and counting institutions much of it gets left with residue of cocaine.

Jackson said it was nice when near end of the course a silent auction was held in the class, which raised $14,000 for the benefit of children of fallen police officers across the nation.

His wife Lisa visited and brought three baskets she made up with Louisiana products hard to get in the rest of the country and they all were popular with bidders, Jackson said.

 

 

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Have a plan and think safety on a parade route, Capt. Charles Borchers tells audience at NASA’s Michoud

Charles Borchers addresses some of the employees at Jacobs Technology at the Michoud Assembly Facility in eastern New Orleans, where he to spoke about parade safety at their Mardi Gras luncheon. STEVE CANNIZARO PHOTO

             Brie Trocquet, an employee at Jacobs Technology, was festively
      dressed for the Mardi Gras luncheon, STEVE CANNIZARO PHOTO
Feb. 08, 2013 -Capt. Charles Borchers had a simple message for employees at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility: Have a great time at parades celebrating Mardi Gras but think about your family’s personal safety and avoid being a crime victim while distracted by having fun.

“Have your mind on what you are doing – you may be in surroundings outside your comfort zone - and think about what you would do if there were any emergency,’’ Borchers, head of Community Relations for the Sheriff’s Office, told safety professionals of Jacobs Technology on Feb. 6.

The company maintains and operates the multi-tenant, 832-acre site at Michoud for NASA in eastern New Orleans.

Mardi Gras parade safety was the topic of the program and Borchers had specific recommendations.

“Watch where you park,’’ for a paeade, he said. There have been scams where people who don’t own vacant lots take money to let you park there but “when you come back your car is gone because it was towed by the actual owner,’’ Borchers said. Also, if you don’t park in an appropriate spot, your vehicle could be towed by authorities.

Make a point of leaving your wallet and jewelry home and bringing in a side pocket a little cash, a credit card and an I.D., making yourself less of a target to thieves, Borchers said.

Tips to keep children safe:

He said watch children carefully and never leave them unattended. It can be easy to get separated in a crowd.

Borchers also said, “Make sure a child knows their name, cell phone number for a parent or guardian, and their address. If they do not, write it down on a card or piece of paper, place it in their pocket and make sure they know to find a police officer and give them this information if they become separated from you.” Show them a near-by officer on the street or introduce them to the officer so children know an authority figure to go to if necessary.

Also, choose a spot for everyone in a group to know they should go to if anyone becomes separated.

Do not let children climb on top, over or under barricades. If children are using ladders to see parades, make sure the ladder won’t topple over or get pushed over by a crowd and throw a child or adult under a float or other vehicle. To help do that, it is safest to place a ladder as far from the street curb as the ladder is high, Borchers said.

Last July, St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohlmann visited NASA’s Michould Assembly Facility - part of the Marshall Space Flight Center - where from 1973 to 2010 the Space Shuttle's External Tanks were constructed.

 

 

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Two men booked in seperate incidents with indecent behavior with juveniles; one of them also arrested for sexual battery

     Dallas Green, one of two men booked in separate incidents with
     indecent behavior with a juvenile
Feb. 07, 2013 -Two St. Bernard Parish men have been booked in separate incidents with indecent behavior with juveniles and one of them was also arrested for sexual battery, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Salvadore Chauppetta, 44, of Meraux was booked Feb. 6 after a judge signed arrest warrants alleging sexual battery and indecent behavior with a juvenile involving ncidents weeks ago in which he allegedly touched a girl on separate occasions, the sheriff said.

The victim told an aunt about the incidents and the adult called the Sheriff’s Office. Juvenile Division detectives interviewed the girl and the information was presented to a judge who issued the arrest warrants, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

Chauppetta was being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison in lieu of bond set at $25,000.

In an unrelated incident, Dallas Green, 31, of Arabi, was booked Feb 5 with indecent behavior with a juvenile boy and an investigation is continuing by the Juvenile Division, the sheriff said.

The juvenile’s mother reported to the Sheriff’s Office that her son told her about incidents in which he was touched inappropriately by Green,

Green was also booked recently with domestic abuse battery and disturbing the peace.

He was jailed in lieu of bond set at $104,000.

 

 

 

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Arabi man’s 22 year-sentence for conviction involving 9 ounces of crack cocaine worth $26,000 is one of parish’s longest terms for crack

Kiyon Jefferson, 37, convicted of possession with intent to distribute 9
ounces of crack cocaine
Feb. 07, 2013 -An Arabi man was sentenced to 22 years in prison on Wednesday, Feb. 6, after a trial in which he was convicted of possession of nine ounces of crack cocaine worth $26,000 with intent to distribute.

It was one of the longest prison terms ever given in St. Bernard Parish involving crack cocaine, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Kiyon Jefferson, 37, who lived at 104 Livingston Ave. before his arrest in April 2011, was sentenced by state District Judge Manny Fernandez, who found him guilty after a one-day trial in January in which Jefferson had waived his right to a jury. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Greg Noto.

Jefferson had a lengthy arrest record but had one prior felony conviction involving cocaine.

At that time, the 9 ounces of crack found in Jefferson’s home was the largest seizure of crack cocaine in St. Bernard in more than two years.

Agents of the sheriff’s Special Investigations Division, commanded by Maj. Chad Clark, searched the home after a judge issued a warrant based on allegations of drug activity. Agents Jason Saltalmachia and Tommy Duplessis found the cocaine in several bags, along with some marijuana and case, a scale and plastic bags for selling the drugs and ingredients for making crack cocaine, the sheriff said.

Jefferson was booked into St. Bernard Parish Prison and remained there in lieu of bond since his arrest.

Anyone who suspects drug activity in St. Bernard Parish should contact the Sheriff’s Office by either calling, e-mailing or text messaging. The drug hotline is (504) 271-DOPE or e-mail to sbsonarcotics@sbso.org. Also, text messages can be sent to the Sheriff’s Office at 274637, with the word CRIMES in parentheses after the number. For instance, 274637 (CRIMES) and in the subject box it should say SBSOTIPS.

 

 

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Knights of Nemesis parades in Chalmette under perfect skies

 

Feb. 04, 2013 -Weather conditions couldn't have been better as the Knights of Nemesis paraded in Chalmette on Saturday, Feb. 2, bringing out a large crowd. Sheriff's Office deputies patrolled the route and was represnted in the prade, includig by Sheriff James Pohlmann, D.A.R.E. officers Lt. Lisa Jackson and Sgt. Darrin Miller and McGruff the Crime Dog, portrayed by Greer Cuccia of the Sheriff's Office. Shown, parade-watchers raise their hands in hopes of throws from a Nemesis float, Sheriff Pohlmann waves at people, Chalmette High marchers entertain the crowd and sheriff's deputies Det. Sgt. Donald Johnson, Det. Sgt. Steve Guillot and Det. Sgt. Anthony Bruscato at an intersection as the parade approaches. STEVE CANNIZARO PHOTOS.

 

 

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Two men booked with negligent homicide for not reporting for hours that a third man who later died was suffering an apparent overdose in their residence

           Gregg Sampson                                 Andrew Brady
Feb. 04, 2013 -Two men who lived in Chalmette in December when a third man they knew died in their residence of an apparent drug overdose were booked with negligent homicide for not reporting for hours the person was in distress, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Andrew Brady, 22, and Gregg Sampson, 52, have been jailed in St. Bernard Parish Prison since sheriff’s detectives arrested them Jan. 31, the sheriff said. Brady was also booked with a burglary count unrelated to the Dec. 10 incident involving the negligent homicide charges they face.

They knew the man who died was impaired but instead of calling authorities when he began overdosing in their residence in the 3600 block of Delambert Street in Chalmette, Brady and Sampson put him in a shower to try to revive him, Sheriff Pohlmann said. Then they placed him on a couch and went to sleep themselves. Hours later when Brady awoke to see about his dogs and found the man they knew unresponsive, he summoned Sampson and called authorities for help, the sheriff said.

Their actions in not calling earlier and leaving the man unattended on a sofa were negligent, Sheriff Pohlmann said. A judge issued arrest warrants for Brady and Sampson in late January, after they had moved from the residence where the incident happened.

They were picked up, Sampson in Chalmette and Brady in Tangipahoa Parish, and booked in St. Bernard with negligent homicide, which carries a maximum 5-year prison sentence if convicted.

Brady is being held in lieu of $65,000 bond and Sampson in lieu of $50,000 bond.

The name of the man who died hasn’t been released by the Sheriff’s Office. The Orleans Parish coroner’s office, which performed the autopsy, said his death was consistent with a drug overdose.

Brady and Sampson called the Sheriff’s Office after 3 a.m. last Dec. 10 to ask for medical assistance at their residence, the sheriff said.

A man was found lying on his back on a sofa, unresponsive, and despite medical personel working on him they were unable to save his life and he was pronounced dead by Coroner Dr. Bryan Bertucci.

When first interviewed by the Sheriff’s Office, Brady and Sampson said the man they knew arrived at their residence in an intoxicated state, went to sleep, and Brady found him unresponsive after 3 a,m, and they called 911.

In subsequent interviews they acknowledged they realized the man was overdosing after he got to their residence and put him in a cold shower, which seemed to revive him, and he was placed on a sofa and covered, where he went to sleep.

Both also said Brady later woke at 3 a.m. and found the man wasn’t breathing and then they called for help, the sheriff said.

 

 

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St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office to seek 15-mill property tax increase in April 6 election after Sheriff Pohlmann has already cut $2.5 million from budget including reduction of 50 employees

Feb. 01, 2013 -St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohlmann said his department will seek a 15-mill property tax increase in an April 6 election because, like numerous other state and local governments in recent years the Sheriff’s Office has felt the effects of a national economic downturn.

And in St. Bernard, it has been made worse by Hurricane Katrina’s lingering toll on the parish’s tax base which hasn’t recovered sufficiently to fund the operations of government agencies, the sheriff said.

The 15 mills would bring in an estimated $4.5 million a year for 10 years, when the tax would expire.

Based on a home valued at $150,000, with a homestead exemption, the tax would cost an owner less than $10 a month, the sheriff said.

He said the budget had been based before the hurricane on taxes brought in by a population of 68,000 as well as transient population of several thousand more each week, all of which has decreased by almost half since the storm.

Sheriff Pohlmann said that as he looked ahead to taking office last July 1, he made deep cuts to the Sheriff’s Office budget, saving the department a projected $2.5 million for his first year, including reducing payroll by 50 employees.

Despite those reductions and continuing cost-saving changes, he said, the department still faces a large deficit because parish sales tax income is showing little or no improvement. Meanwhile, federal money made available after Hurricane Katrina has run out and temporary sales tax gains made after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico spurred extra spending have also ended, he said.

“And you can’t forget that massive federal levee construction, street repair work, foundation removal and sidewalk repair in St. Bernard after Katrina brought large amounts of money into this parish but have now dried up,” Sheriff Pohlmann said.

Experts believe “the sales tax income so needed for us to operate on has leveled off now to its true picture and that is what we will have for the forseeable future,’’ the sheriff said.

In response, the Sheriff’s Office will seek a 15-mill property tax increase from residents in an April 6 election in order to balance its budget and “keep St. Bernard safe into the future,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.

The 15 mills would bring in an estimated $4.5 million a year for 10 years, when the tax would expire.

Based on a home valued at $150,000, with a homestead exemption, the tax would cost an owner less than $10 a month, the sheriff said.

“I have cut the budget in many ways and have reduced the number of employees from 315 in January 2012 to 265, the lowest number in many years,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. By comparison, there were 380 sheriff’s employees before Hurricane Katrina.

Total reductions in the sheriff’s budget for his first year in office, from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013, are projected at $2.5 million.

“It would be difficult to cut the number of employees further without jeopardizing the Sheriff’s Office’s ability to keep St. Bernard safe, our Number 1 responsibility,’’ he said.

“Regardless of cuts, the fact is we are still living with a significantly lower tax base in this parish that was brought on by Hurricane Katrina more than 7 years ago,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.

“We have about 38,000 residents compared to the 68,000 here before the storm,’’ the sheriff said. “While some new businesses have come to the parish, we have also lost several large supermarkets and other retail outlets which didn’t return after Katrina, ones that helped bring in sales tax needed to run government agencies. Our parish economy is smaller, leaving less tax money to work with.’’

“And despite a smaller population we are handling almost as many calls for service each year as before the storm,” the sheriff said, “making nearly as many arrests, running an adult prison at near capacity and have a juvvenile detention center we must keep open because there has be a place to hold juvenile offenders.”

Sheriff Pohlmann said, “We have determined, after consulting experts including accountants, economists and other Louisiana sheriffs, that the best way to eliminate the deficit and allow the Sheriff’s Office a revenue source that provides the current high level of services is a 15-mill property tax.’’

“It would allow us to fill shortages in critical enforcement personnel, maintain our vehicle fleet, maintain and improve our information technology division and operate and staff two sub-stations that will re-open at our parish line with New Orleans,’’ he said. Rising insurance costs could also be dealt with.

Previous sheriff’s budgets since Katrina haven’t accounted for staffing the two new sub-stations that will be coming back at the parish line on St. Claude Avenue and Judge Perez Drive. “Their presence in the past were one of our most effective crime-fighting strategies,’’ the sheriff said of the sub-stations.

“We have responded to a money crunch in many ways,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “I put a hiring freeze in place by the end of 2011 after I was elected sheriff that fall but was still six months from taking office.”

No new jobs have been added and a number of people have been transferred from one division to another to fill in personnel gaps, he said.

“We have also instituted changes in many other areas,’’ the sheriff said, “including a major overhaul of the policy on take-home department vehicles, including mandating deputies must live in the parish to be eligible for that. No vehicle is supposed to be taken overnight outside this parish.”

“Before I took office we overhauled our rank structure, reducing the rank of a number of people, which also achieved a savings in salaries,’’ the sheriff said. The Sheriff’s Office has also made other cost-saving changes including ending some professional services contracts and making cuts of in cell phone and land line expenses that will save about $90,000 a year.

“Remember, St. Bernard remains the safest parish in the New Orleans area and one of the safest in the state,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.

“If a resident or a business needing service calls us we have an excellent response time, particularly for any emergency. That has always been what we are known for,’’ the sheriff said.

“And I believe we have the best qualified and best trained personnel we have ever had,’’ he said.

“But we need to prepare for the future. To continue to do the things that keeps this parish safe we need the money which makes it possible,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said

 

 

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Six sheriff’s deputies from the Bomb Squad and Traffic Division participated in Super Bowl security functions

Feb. 01, 2013 -St. Bernard Parish’s Sheriff Office has had a role in the Super Bowl played in New Orleans.

Six sheriff’s deputies, two from the Bomb Squad and four from the Traffic Division, took part in Super Bowl functions for the big game, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Sgt. Chris Scheeler and Sgt. Stephen Ingargiola, who handle Bomb Squad duties as well as work in the Patrol Division of the Sheriff’s Office, worked with the FBI as part of security for the game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. The Bomb Squad comes under the command of Maj. Mark Poche.

From the Traffic Division, Lt. Mike Ingargiola, Lt. Brent Bourgeois, Cpl. Terry Meyer and Dep. Tommy Duplessis were part of motorcycle escorts with the New Orleans Police Department. Capt. Walter Dornan heads the Traffic Division.

 

 

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