DEA Arrests Local Police Chief for Selling Drugs
NEW ORLEANS - William J. Renton, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), James Bernazzani, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Jim Letten, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, announced today the arrest of Corey T. Pittman, the elected Chief of Police of Lutcher, La. Pittman, who is 29 years old, resides in the town of Lutcher and was elected as its Chief of Police in October 2002.
“It’s a sad day when a law enforcement official violates his oath of office and distributes drugs in the very community he is paid to protect and serve,” said Renton, Jr. “No person is above the law, and a law enforcement officer must not be allowed to aid and abet the terrible toll drug trafficking and abuse creates in our communities. Pittman used his position as Chief of Police for the town of Lutcher as a disguise to violate the public trust in order to personally profit from illegal drug sales.”
According to information contained in a complaint filed yesterday in Federal Court, a DEA Task Force Group, along with the FBI Public Corruption Squad, and the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office, has been conducting an investigation into Pittman’s drug distribution activities for the past three months. The complaint alleges that a DEA undercover operative was used to make controlled purchases of crack cocaine, cocaine and hydrocodone (an addictive pain medication) on five separate occasions from Pittman. The complaint states that controlled substances totaling approximately five ounces of Cocaine Base “Crack”, one ounce of Cocaine Hydrochloride and 40 tablets of hydrocodone were purchased for $5,200.00 during this investigation.
According to an article in the News Examiner dated March 6, 2003, Pittman is quoted regarding his past involvement in drugs; “The easiest thing for me would be to lie and say it never happened. It did. I was young and foolish. I wanted quick money and selling marijuana was the easiest way to get it. Kids on the street corners can’t fool me. I know all the tricks. I know all the lies. I have seen them. I have done them.”
This investigation was conducted by a DEA led Task Force Group which consists of investigators from the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, New Orleans Police Department, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office and Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office, along with Special Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service. Prosecution of this matter is being conducted by Assistant United States Attorneys Al Winters and Jay Quinlan. The United States Attorney’s Office reminds citizens that under our constitution all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
For additional information, contact Public Information Officer, Richard M. Woodfork at 504-840-1360.