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Indictment: DEA taskforce members sold opioids, embezzled cash, and falsely identified drug suspects

October 10, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Indictment: DEA taskforce members sold opioids, embezzled cash, and falsely identified drug suspects

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New details have emerged into the illicit activities of four former DEA agents who are facing charges of federal corruption and conspiracy, which include selling drugs, lying under oath, forging records, falsely identifying drug suspects, accepting bribes, and stealing money and other property from the individuals they arrested.

In at least one example, their behavior resulted in someone being wrongly imprisoned for over two years.

The corrupt special agent Chad Scott, who had been employed with the DEA since 1997, and former task force officers Rodney Gemar, Karl Newman, and Johnny Domingue—worked with the agency’s New Orleans Division. Gemar and Newman also work for local law enforcement departments.

In an indictment recently unsealed, Scott, Newman, and Gemar—a Hammond Police officer since 2004 and DEA Task Force agent since 2009—are accused of seizing cash and other property from those they arrested and then pocketing it. This continued for at least seven years.

Scott is also accused of taking $10,000 from a defendant in a federal case in exchange for recommending that prosecutors ask for a reduced sentence and, in another case, messing with witness testimony, The New Orleans Advocate reported.

Veteran DEA agent Chad Scott is accused of stealing cash from drug dealers, lying under oath and falsifying paperwork during his lengthy career with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Scott purportedly coerced Frederick Brown (a defendant in a drug case) “to falsely testify that Jorge Perralta was present during transactions between Edwin Martinez and [Brown] when Frederick Brown had never seen Jorge Perralta during his transactions with Edwin Martinez.” Scott also allegedly presented his own false testimony in the case.”

The DEA agent insisted that it was Brown who originally brought up Perralta when talking about people who were present during deals and might be Martinez’s supplier, referring to the target not by his name but as “the little Mexican guy.”

Scott said that he showed Brown a picture of Perralta, and confirmed he was the man he had seen during drug transactions.

An arrest warrant was issued, and Scott went to Houston to help authorities arrest Perralta for conspiring to deal heroin and cocaine.

Authorities took Perralta into custody and seized his phone, without even being permitted to contact his parents or girlfriend—before he was extradited to Louisiana in 2015.

After close to two and a half years in prison, Perralta was released in August and all charges against him were dropped.

Brown had never mentioned Perralta on his own, prosecutors indicated in their indictment against Scott.

DEA task force member Karl Newman was arrested in 2016

Moreover, when he was shown a photo of Perralta, Brown maintained that he had never seen him.

Both Scott and Gemar were arrested on October 1st and went free on bond the following day, while Newman and Domingue were taken into custody in 2016.

Federal prosecutors revealed that Newman seized and sold thousands of dollars worth of cocaine and oxycodone.

Some of the drugs he confiscated from a woman identified as R.G. were seized “using force, violence, and fear of injury…to R.G.’s person and her family.”

Domingue is accused only of forging records related to an illegal drug seizure. His trial is scheduled for February 2018.

Newman has agreed to plead guilty to one count of “conspiracy to convert property” and one charge of using a gun in furtherance of a violent crime, in exchange for prosecutors dismissing the other charges against him.

He faces penalties of up to $500,000 and potentially life behind bars, with a minimum sentence of at least five years.

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