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Former St. John officer arrested for illegal drug activity

With the help of Homeland Security, detectives said they were able to intercept a package heading from Bulgaria to the Stipes' home.
Credit: St. John Sheriffs Office

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH, La. — The St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office had to arrest one of its own Wednesday, after he was allegedly involved in illegal drug activity through the parish.

Former Patrol Lieutenant 35-year-old Basil Trepagnier from Laplace, faces charges of malfeasance in office and criminal conspiracy, according to deputies.

The sheriff's office stated that on March 17, Special Operations Division Detectives obtained and carried out a court-ordered search and seizure at a home in Reserve belonging to Dawn Stipe, for a narcotics investigation.

With the help of Homeland Security, detectives said they were able to intercept a package heading from Bulgaria to Stipes' home.

Detectives said the package contained:

  • A large plastic bag containing 13 Doxycycline pills 
  • 123 Betamethasone pills 
  • 192 Prednisone pills
  • 136 Promethazine pills
  • 356 Paracofdal (Codein) pills
  • 39 Lorazepam pills
  • 58 Rivotril (Klonopin) pills 
  • 72 Zolpidem pills 
  • 210 Xanax pills 
  • 25 Valium pills
  • 20 Diazepam pills
  • 21 Zopiclone pills

Stipe was arrested on several illegal drug counts.

The sheriff's office said investigations revealed that on March 15, Trepagnier was on duty when he was seen at Stipe's house for two hours. With a statement from Stipe, it was discovered Trepagnier was there to get Valium.

Detectives stated Trepagnier knew about Stipe's operation and allowed her to continue to obtain, possess and distribute the drugs as he kept receiving them from her.

The 10-year SJSO veteran was terminated after turning himself in. He was released on a $15,000 bond.

Sheriff Mike Tregre released a statement about the arrest:

“The actions of this former lieutenant are such a disappointment. As sheriff, it is my responsibility to ensure our officers maintain the highest possible level of professionalism and are held to the highest standards. Misconduct by officers will not be tolerated, and the St. John Sheriff’s Office will always hold its employees accountable anytime wrongdoing is discovered.” 

The case is currently under investigation and will be updated when more information is available.

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