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Jailer Arrested, Fired

By Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / January 23, 1998

HAHNVILLE – A jailer in St. Charles Parish was arrested Saturday after anundercover operation discovered he had apparently been selling marijuanato inmates.

Kendall R. Pierre, 23, River Road, Ama, was fired from his job by SheriffGreg Champagne. Pierre is out on $35,000 bond, set by 29th JudicialDistrict Judge Kirk Granier.Pierre is charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, introduction ofcontraband into a penal institution and malfeasance.

According to Champagne, word of a deputy selling marijuana in the third-floor jail facility of the parish courthouse prompted the undercoverinvestigation.

“We wanted to be certain, one way or the other,” Champagne said.The investigator was reportedly able to set up a drug buy with Pierre,arranging for a confederate to pay the jailer by taping money beneath thedeputy’s car bumper.

A hidden TV camera captured on tape the deputy complimenting theundercover officer for how well the payoff was made. Champagne viewedthe videotape on Friday.

“I was hoping it wasn’t true,” Champagne said. “I was very distressedwhen I watched the tape. I was disappointed, but we did what we had todo.”

Champagne said Pierre had only been working for him a couple of months,having just come out of the police academy. He said the drug buy was for asmall amount, enough for two or three “joints.”

However, he said, any amount is unacceptable.

“I won’t tolerate this type of behavior,” he said.

Pierre was apparently acting alone in his drug distribution activities,Champagne said.

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