Ex-DEA task force member, pleads guilty in drug money theft



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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former Louisiana sheriff's deputy who was part of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration task force has pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of dollars seized in a drug raid.

Karl Emmett Newman, 50, pleaded guilty Thursday to using a firearm during a robbery and to "conversion of property" by a government employee. Prosecutors said in court documents the charges stemmed from his August 2015 raid of a Hammond, Louisiana, home, where he seized drugs and firearms. Prosecutors say Newman and another deputy also seized more than $6,000, but kept about $3,000.

Newman was indicted last year on a host of federal counts. The charges were reduced to two as attorneys worked out Thursday's plea deal. Newman could spend five years to life in prison. Another former deputy involved in the 2015 raid, Johnny Domingue, was also indicted in that case and, The New Orleans Advocate reports, has pleaded guilty to state drug charges.

Both were once deputies with the sheriff's office in Tangipahoa Parish north of New Orleans.

Newman also has been arrested on state charges and a state prosecutor last year said the investigation that led to the arrests of Newman and Domingue could also lead to other arrests at "federal and state levels."

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