Friday, June 15, 2012

Former Baton Rouge Police Officer Sentenced to 24 Months of Imprisonment in Operation Illegal Motion

BATON ROUGE, LA—United States Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr. announced the results of another sentence imposed in Operation Illegal Motion, a long-running public corruption investigation involving the state and local criminal justice system. U.S. District Judge James J. Brady sentenced Leonard P. Jackson, age 48, of Prairieville, Louisiana, to 24 months’ imprisonment, three years’ supervised release, and a $1,000 fine. Jackson was sentenced after having pled guilty to multiple racketeering offenses based on his corrupt activity while a police officer with the Baton Rouge City Police Department.

As outlined during the sentencing, Jackson engaged in various corrupt activities while serving as a police officer, including:

■Jackson was an active participant in taking and facilitating bribes to cause the dismissal and reduction of criminal and traffic charges in Baton Rouge City Court, including charges of battery involving domestic violence. Jackson engaged in the scheme with the Senior Assistant City Prosecutor, the chief investigator for the Public Defender’s Office, court staff, and many others.
■Jackson also took bribes to cause the dismissal and reduction of criminal and traffic charges with the unknowing assistance of other city prosecutors who agreed to Jackson’s recommendations without necessarily knowing their corrupt nature.
■Jackson took bribes from an undercover FBI agent whom he believed was the operator of an illegal gambling operation. Jackson took such bribes in exchange for using his official position to extort an individual out of a $10,000 illegal gambling debt. When the undercover agent asked if Jackson would also protect a drug shipment through Baton Rouge, Jackson responded favorably.

At the sentencing, the court and the United States emphasized that Jackson betrayed the trust and the oath he swore to uphold. The court noted that Jackson’s early acceptance of responsibility and cooperation with the government were also significant considerations, resulting in a sentence much less than the court would have otherwise imposed.

Operation Illegal Motion has resulted in 10 individuals being convicted of various racketeering charges, including violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, related to their participation in a massive bribery scheme involving the corruption of hundreds of criminal and traffic matters in the state and local courts. Those convicted include a Senior Assistant City Prosecutor, two police officers, the chief public defender investigator, a city court employee, a state court employee, and others.

Operation Illegal Motion is an ongoing investigation conducted by this office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Louisiana Office of Inspector General, the Louisiana State Police, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigative Division, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Office of Inspector General, and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality-Criminal Investigations Division.

Operation Illegal Motion is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Corey R. Amundson, who serves as the Senior Deputy Criminal Chief, and M. Patricia Jones, who serves as the Senior Litigation Counsel.

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