Deputy Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights Violation

The 29-year-old deputy with the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana struck a man who was under arrest and on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back in September 2013.

The deputy was one of several officers tasked with dispersing a large crowd around 1:40 a.m. that had gathered after the close of the Sugar Cane Festival in New Iberia.

The crowd was asked to disperse, and the victim was arrested during this time. The victim was instructed to lie flat on the ground in a face-down position, but instead remained on his side and did not comply with the instructions. The deputy struck the victim twice.

Cody Laperouse of New Iberia, Louisiana, pleaded guilty to violating an individual’s civil rights by use of excessive force for striking a handcuffed man.

Laperouse faces up to one year in prison, one year supervised release, and a $100,000 fine. A sentencing date has not been set.

“Law enforcement officers play a critical role in our society and every day put their lives on the line to serve our citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley. “They are the unsung heroes who take an oath to follow the law and to keep us safe. Unfortunately, Mr. Laperouse breached that trust and violated his oath by using excessive force on a member of our community.”

Colfax County deputy charged with drug offense

Two men reported to the New Mexico State Police that a law enforcement officer seized marijuana and cash from them during a traffic stop in 2014 without giving them a receipt for the marijuana or money.

An investigation by the state police identified the officer involved in the traffic stop.

From December 2014 through February 2015, law enforcement deployed undercover agents into areas of Colfax County, New Mexico, that the suspected officer was known to patrol.

During that time, the officer conducted traffic stops on the undercover agents’ vehicles on three occasions during which he allegedly offered to escort the undercover agents through Colfax County with drugs and currency in exchange for a portion of their drug profits.

In February 2015, he allegedly agreed to escort an undercover agent with a load of drugs through Colfax County. He then allegedly accepted cash for escorting the undercover agent, who was driving a vehicle containing cocaine, from Colfax County to the New Mexico-Colorado border.

Vidal Sandoval, 45, a deputy of the Colfax County Sheriff’s Office who resides in Cimarron, New Mexico, has been indicted for aiding and abetting a drug trafficking crime.

If convicted of the offense charged in the indictment, Sandoval faces a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison.

The indictment includes forfeiture provisions seeking a money judgment in the amount of at least $19,500.00, the proceeds Sandoval allegedly obtained as a result of his unlawful conduct.

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