A former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent known to drug dealers as the “white devil” was sentenced Thursday to more than 13 years in prison for stealing money from suspects, falsifying government records, and lying during a federal trial.
Chad A. Scott, the longtime agent, caused “far-reaching” damage “to the administration of justice,” according to U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo.
“He undermined law enforcement and tainted the entire judicial system. He was sworn to uphold the law, but instead broke it for his own selfish gain “Timothy Duree, a federal prosecutor, told the first jury that convicted Scott. The sentencing capped a five-year case that shook the DEA and resulted in the convictions of three other members of a federal drug task force based in New Orleans.
Prosecutors claimed Scott was more dangerous than the most hardened heroin dealers he imprisoned, claiming the Louisiana cop “broke every rule in the book” to enforce his “own approximation of justice.” Milazzo was asked to sentence Scott to nearly two decades in prison.
Scott, 53, was found guilty of a slew of corruption charges in multiple trials. The charges stemmed from a wide-ranging federal investigation into allegations of misconduct that had dogged Scott for much of his 17-year career, even as he racked up headline-grabbing drug busts between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
Scott told Milazzo he was “ashamed of being here,” and that he had been “convicted in the press and public opinion” for a long time. He did, however, try to emphasize his contributions to law enforcement and the DEA’s mission, in which he said he truly believed. According to the judge, he was twice the target of murder-for-hire plots — “an example of the lengths people will go to remove me from drug trafficking investigations.”
Scott’s remarks, his first since his arrest in 2017, came during an unusual sentencing hearing this week that revealed details of crimes Scott was accused of committing but was not charged with. A Louisiana man accused Scott of planting an ounce of marijuana in his truck in 2005, and a Houston man claimed Scott twice lashed his mouth with a medallion on a necklace he was wearing during a 1999 arrest that resulted in no charges, then confiscated the chain and took nearly a year to return it.
Scott was convicted in 2019 of arranging false testimony against a Houston-based heroin and cocaine trafficker, which tainted the dealer’s conviction and allowed him to walk free. The same federal jury found Scott guilty of falsifying paperwork for a Ford F-150 pickup, which he directed another drug trafficker to purchase in order for the DEA to seize and give it to Scott.
A separate federal jury convicted Scott and Rodney Gemar, a former member of his task force, earlier this year in what prosecutors described as a long-running scheme to steal money and property from suspects they arrested.
Johnny Domingue and Karl E. Newman, two other former task force members, pleaded guilty and testified against Scott. Both were deputies from the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office who had been assigned to the DEA.
Scott is one of a growing number of DEA agents accused of abusing their authority in recent years. Last year, another veteran agent, Jose Irizzary, pleaded guilty to conspiring with a Colombian cartel money launderer, filing false reports, and ordering DEA staff to wire money earmarked for undercover stings to international accounts he controlled.
According to court records, at least a dozen DEA agents have been criminally charged across the country since 2015 on charges ranging from wire fraud and bribery to selling firearms to drug traffickers. That includes a longtime special agent in Chicago who pleaded guilty to infiltrating the DEA on behalf of drug traffickers and another accused of accepting $250,000 in bribes to protect the Mafia.