A New Orleans police officer was among 13 people charged with narcotics violations. The New Orleans Times-Picayune says the ring “tried to cover its tracks by using cell phones registered in the names of innocent citizens.”
Darrick Thompson, a six-year police veteran, was suspended from the police force. The indictment does not specify his role; the group is charged with buying and selling more than 550 grams of cocaine and more than 100 grams of heroin.
Defendant Darryl Brown is accused of stealing Social Security numbers to register cellular telephones that were used in the drug conspiracy.
The indictment of one defendant, Dwight Labran, hit hard at Innocence Project-New Orleans, a nonprofit group devoted to exonerating wrongfully convicted prison inmates. Labran was found guilty of first-degree murder in a 1996 shooting, but the project got his conviction and life sentence overturned by proving he didn’t do it. Labran, 30, has spoken at conferences on the plight of exonerated inmates.