Former DeSoto school board member sentenced to prison - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Former DeSoto school board member sentenced to prison

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Bartholomew Claiborne, 37, was sentenced to a year and a day to federal prison. Bartholomew Claiborne, 37, was sentenced to a year and a day to federal prison.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

A former DeSoto Parish School Board member was sentenced to prison on drug charges, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District in Shreveport announced on Tuesday.

A federal court judge sentenced Bartholemew Claiborne, 37, to one year and one day in prison and three years of supervised probation, U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley says.

Claiborne pleaded guilty to distributing cocaine and other controlled substances on 14 separate occasions between Oct. 11, 2011, and July 12, 2012. Authorities say they used surveillance methods to watch Claiborne selling cocaine.

Claiborne was among 15 people arrested back in February on federal charges of selling cocaine and methamphetamine in the Mansfield area. The arrests followed a year-long federal-led probe with law enforcement from more than 7 agencies participating.

Claiborne was the first to be indicted as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) "Operation Limpiar Casa," an operation targeting drug trafficking in the Mansfield area.

"As an elected official, Bartholomew Claiborne swore to uphold the law, and by his own admission, failed to do so," U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley said after the sentencing.

"He has failed the children and parents of the school board district where he served as a role model. We hope this case sends a message that public officials are not above the law.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office, the Mansfield Police Department, and the Tri-Parish Task Force which includes DeSoto, Sabine and Red River parishes, participate in the OCDETF program and conducted the operation.

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