Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore’s office has dropped 640 drug cases tied directly to alleged corruption in the Baton Rouge Police Department’s narcotics division.
All of the cases were handled by officers Jeremiah Ardoin and Jason Acree. Acree was charged with one count of distribution/possession of marijuana and one count of malfeasance in office, and Ardoin was charged for more minor alleged crimes involving stolen property.
An investigation revealed that another officer witnessed Acree stealing marijuana that had been seized as evidence in a drug case, which he admitted to the officer he was selling to a friend. Police searched the home of Acree’s friend, and the friend admitted that Acree brought him marijuana and THC vape pens on several occasions, but the friend stated he was unaware of where Acree was getting the drugs.
Acree was previously accused of allegations of misconduct after a man claimed he was unlawfully beaten and strip-searched during a 2014 marijuana raid conducted by Acree and another officer Robb Moruzzi. Moruzzi was accused of knocking the man’s teeth out during the raid, and the man was ultimately not arrested or accused of any crimes. The city of Baton Rouge paid $25,000 to the man after the jury found that the city showed “deliberate indifference” toward an apparent custom by officers of performing warrantless strip searches.