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BATON ROUGE, La. -- A Louisiana State Police sergeant is behind bars after allegedly selling large amounts of cocaine and taking evidence, according to Col. Mike Edmonson, the superintendent for state police.

Monroe resident Ronald Thomas, 42, is being held in the Ouachita Parish Jail on payroll fraud, malfeasance in office, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, distribution of cocaine, and obstruction of justice charges.

Officials with state police say Thomas was an evidence custodian. Going off a lead from another investigation, state police gathered evidence pointing to Thomas possibly being involved in illegal activity.

Troopers on Monday recovered $50,000 in cash and a stolen weapon after executing a search warrant on Thomas' home.

'Thomas has dishonored his oath, his organization and more importantly the community he swore to protect,' said Col. Mike Edmonson. 'We will push for the strongest possible punishment.'

State police also arrested 38-year-old Leonard Dunn and booked him with three counts of distribution of marijuana and 1 count of distribution of hydrocodone. Edmonson said Thomas worked with Dunn to sell 'large quantities' of cocaine in northeast Louisiana, and Thomas allegedly told Dunn to destroy evidence after learning of the investigation.

Edmonson said no cases have been affected as the evidence recovered from Thomas were from fully adjudicated and had been set aside for destruction.

Thomas has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. He faces up to a $76,000 fine and 92 years in prison.

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