Convicted for nine crimes related to theft, official misconduct, and obstruction, a former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent was sentenced Thursday to more than 13 years in federal prison.
Between 2009 and 2016, DEA Special Agent Chad Scott and DEA Task Force Officer Rodney Gemar stole the personal property of arrestees, including items like wallets, phones, and keys. Instead of logging these items into evidence or returning them to the owners, Scott and Gemar kept the stolen property in their desks.
In addition to stealing cash from arrestees, Scott and Gemar skimmed money off of cash seizures made by the DEA. After a co-conspirator was arrested in January 2016, Scott and Gemar, along with another colleague named Karl Newman, destroyed the evidence of their crimes, in part by throwing that evidence into the swamps outside New Orleans.
In July 2017, former DEA Task Force Officer Karl Newman pleaded guilty to unlawfully carrying a firearm in furtherance of an August 2015 robbery, which was disguised as the execution of a search warrant, as well as misappropriating money confiscated by the DEA during another search. Newman was a Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy who had also been serving as a DEA task force officer in New Orleans.
In a separate federal trial, Scott directed a Houston-based drug trafficker to buy a Ford F-150 truck worth approximately $43,000 and forfeit the truck to Scott as part of the drug trafficker’s cooperation. Scott then falsified the seizure paperwork for the truck, including falsely claiming that he had seized the truck in New Orleans instead of Houston, in order to facilitate the vehicle being forfeited and given to Scott as his official government vehicle.
In September 2017, Scott and Gemar were initially indicted on 13 counts, including obstruction of justice, perjury, and conversion of property of another by an officer or employee of the United States. Scott was found guilty in August 2019 and June 2021 after his case was severed into two separate federal trials by Federal District Court Judge Jane Milazzo.
In August 2019, Scott was found guilty of two counts of perjury, three counts of obstruction of justice, and two counts of falsifying government records. In June 2021, he was found guilty of conspiracy and conversion of property, while Gemar was found guilty of conspiracy, conversation of property, and removal of property.
On Thursday, Scott was sentenced to 160 months in federal prison.
“Chad Scott wielded his police powers to victimize the very citizens he had sworn to serve and protect, eroding the community’s trust in law enforcement and undermining the rule of law,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicholas McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division in a press release. “Today’s sentencing shows that law enforcement officers who betray the public’s trust will be held accountable and punished accordingly.”
“Chad Scott took an oath to serve his community with integrity, but rather than use his badge to protect his community, he used it to break the law,” stated DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “This goes against everything that the Drug Enforcement Administration stands for. Scott betrayed the very people he was entrusted to protect and today he is being held accountable for his crimes.”
“Corrupt officials who break the law and breach their oaths will be prosecuted and sent to prison, even if they come from within the ranks of federal law enforcement,” asserted Special Agent in Charge Douglas Williams Jr. of the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office. “Today’s sentencing demonstrates that Chad Scott will be held responsible and that no one is above the law.”
“While he was a law enforcement agent, Scott compromised cases and conspired to steal from the people he arrested,” noted Special Agent in Charge Douglas Bruce of the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (DOJ-OIG) Denver Field Office. “His actions were antithetical to the oath he swore to uphold. Now, he will rightly serve time for his many crimes.”