Viewing 15:704 defining correctional context and sheriff deputies, Wright had limited power to enforce the peace. He did not have the authority to obtain evidence and make arrests. Wright was a deputy sheriff simply because he oversaw the health, wellbeing, and security of a Parrish prison.
Louisiana code assumes that there is a line between a deputy sheriff and a sworn deputy serving in the capacity of jailer which Wright was. Deputy Sheriffs are law enforcement officers in the community performing law enforcement functions. Jailers’, such as Wright, enforcement powers are within the confines of the jail. He did not have the authority to go under cover and violate federal law all on his own investigation. Wright’s view of his authority was flawed. He was simply a jailer with no business being in the parking lot taking a plea deal for $2500 in cash and cocaine.
The court ruled that the District court was right in advising that had Wright waited for approval from his superior officer he would have had qualified immunity. Even if he subjectively believed he was doing the right thing he lacked the authority to do so.
Wright’s final argument was that he was not allowed to call witnesses that he had worked with on investigations before. The court ruled that it was irrelevant as the question to the court was he authorized to have narcotics in his possession at the time. Furthermore, there was sufficient evidence that supported the fact that he was going to have the charges against Cordasco dismissed.
The court ruled that the district court properly charged the jury. The jury found that Wright was guilty as charged and Wright was sent to prison.
Any law enforcement officer, no matter how wet behind the ears, or citizen in the community has watched enough television to know that you would not complete an action such as this without recording equipment and backup. He was bright enough to know to go to a superior officer and inquire as to what steps to take. He was told not to do anything until he was cleared to. To put this simply, you can’t take stupid out of stupid. What is scary about all of this is how many are out there that we don’t know about. Think about that for a while.