Tangipahoa Sheriff releases statement after FBI raid

UPDATE: As of the morning of December 16, both the Hammond Police Department and the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office have been reopened for normal business.

Two major law enforcement agencies in Tangipahoa Parish were raided by the FBI Thursday morning, officials confirm. The Hammond Police Department and the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office were raided Thursday, December 15.

On Friday, December 16, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards released the following statement:

As you know, yesterday the FBI executed search warrants at the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office and the Hammond Police Department in connection with the federal government's ongoing investigation into the DEA task force that had been operating in our parish.

"We are conducting multiple court authorized actions. The investigations are ongoing. We have no further comment on this time," said Craig Betbez, public information officer for the FBI New Orleans.

The Hammond Police Department buildings were on lockdown and the parking lots were blocked off for most of the afternoon Thursday.

The Advocate newspaper said three of its enforcement sources said the raid is related to a broader federal investigation of a drug task force that has come under scrutiny for allegedly selling confiscated narcotics and tampering with witnesses.

The task force included several members of the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office and was led by Chad Scott, a special agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency who has been suspended from duty as a result of the probe, the newspaper reported.

Two former members of the task force have been charged with stealing cash and drugs during raids, The Advocate reported.

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