St. John Parish deputy charged with burglary

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 22, 2005


Managing Editor

LAPLACE — A St. John Parish sheriff’s deputy with an exemplary record of service, both in St. John and in Jefferson parishes, was arrested Tuesday and charged with simple burglary.

Deputy Joseph Moore, 47, of LaPlace, was apparently captured by a surveillance camera, placing items from a truck parked at the St. John School Board maintenance yard on West 13th Street in Reserve into his marked police unit, while in uniform, Sheriff Wayne L. Jones said. The items included a water cooler and a workman’s tool belt with tools. Total estimated value of the items was between $100 and $300.

Moore had been working a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift at the time of the burglary, Jones said.

Jones termed the arrest “an unfortunate incident.” Chief Deputy Harold Klibert added it was “absolutely intolerable.”

The burglary charge carries a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison and a $2,000 fine.

Moore, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, worked for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office from June 1993 to July 2004, when he came to St. John Parish, according to Klibert.

“We never had a single complaint against him,” Jones said.

Nevertheless, when the security tape was reviewed, Moore’s shift lieutenant was called, who passed the matter to his commander and then to the sheriff. Jones ordered an investigation and assigned a detective to the case.

Besides building the case against Moore, in preparation for prosecution by the District Attorney’s office, other possible burglaries will also be checked. “If there’s more than one count of burglary, I’ve got a real problem with him,” Jones said.

Jones said law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard of behavior, and strict adherence to the law is mandatory, to be an example to others.

Moore surrendered and reportedly confessed to detectives. According to the sheriff’s spokesman, Maj. Michael Tregre, Moore was also charged with malfeasance in office, which carries a maximum possible penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

He was released that same day upon posting bond on $5,000, set by 40th Judicial District Judge Mary Hotard Becnel.

While in Jefferson Parish, Moore was active in running the department’s Young Marines program to steer delinquent youth to better behavior. He was more recently active in starting a St. John Parish branch at East St. John High School, as reported last month.

“He was quiet as a mouse,” Jones said in a press conference.