You don’t hear about offenses so extreme committed by law enforcement officers very often. This one goes way beyond grabbing an apple from a fruit stand or accepting a free lunch from a friendly restaurateur.
Mark Hebert, 49, crossed all kinds of red lines when he was a sheriff’s deputy in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. As a result, he is going away for 92 years.
Court papers reveal that Hebert’s crime spree began when he responded to a car accident involving Herbert Bloch in 2007. Hebert took Bloch’s debit card and other items. The deputy used the card to make unauthorized purchases and to withdraw money from Bloch’s Chase bank account via an ATM.
A replacement card
Bloch filed a dispute with the bank and the debit card was canceled. That didn’t stop Hebert, however. He then negotiated and attempted to negotiate forged checks written on Bloch’s account. Hebert later obtained a replacement debit card that was sent to Bloch’s address and used that card to make further unauthorized transactions at Chase ATMs.
At some point during this spending binge, Bloch disappeared and has not been heard from since. After a four-day hearing in July 2014, a judge ruled that Hebert was responsible for the death and disappearance of Bloch. That finding was considered in the lengthy sentence handed out.
Hebert was also ordered to pay $13,215.22 in restitution to be divided by the bank and the estate of the victim. Also, the judge tacked on five years of supervised release following imprisonment. During the five-year period the defendant will be under federal supervision and risks an additional term of imprisonment should he violate any terms of his supervised release.
Obviously, Hebert will not live to serve out his full prison sentence. If he does manage to get an early release, he will probably be too old to cause too much additional damage.
Fortunately, crimes this horrendous are the exception. Isolated cases such as this one should not be used to tarnish the badges of the fine men and women who protect and serve with honor and honesty.