JEFFERSON, La. -- The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office launched an internal investigation after Eyewitness News asked a spokesman last July about evidence that one deputy, Scott Sigur, had sold synthetic marijuana online after it was outlawed in Louisiana.
Now months of investigation have led Sheriff Newell Normand to take action against Sigur.
“He is terminated, effective today,” he said. “And the results of our investigation will be turned over to the district attorney's office.”
The sheriff said he’s disgusted and disappointed.
“We've been able to determine that there are in fact three sales that occurred in Louisiana after the date that the substance JWH-018 was actually outlawed in Louisiana,” Normand said.
Pointing out that synthetic drugs too often send young people to the hospital with life threatening complications, Normand shut down retailers and made arrests after Louisiana outlawed synthetic marijuana in August 2010.
But what about Sigur? Normand said he faces criminal charges.
“I mean, it's up to the (district attorney). We're going to present what we have in this particular case,” Normand said.
Normand said this was the sheriff’s office's second investigation of Sigur.
He said detectives investigated him the first time last April when they got a tip he was selling marijuana.
“The search revealed nothing in his home or in his vehicles, to include his police vehicle,” Normand said.
Normand said he now knows Sigur was packaging and mailing off the so-called herbal incense at a neighbor's house. He said it now appears Sigur profited to the tune of $50,000 to $80,000.
“We believe sales taxes were due that were not paid,” Normand said. “He did not have an occupational license tax for the business.”
Normand said unpaid sales taxes may only amount to hundreds of dollars, but he believes Sigur may also owe the IRS.
He describes Sigur’s response to all of this as cavalier.
“I think he referred to himself as an entrepreneur.”
Normand said he was “no better than any other thug that's selling the banned substance.”
The sheriff’s office is turning findings of investigation over to the Louisiana Department of Revenue, the IRS as well as the district attorney.
He said the neighbor who worked the business and Sigur's ex wife may also face exposure.