Head of Bossier police union, co-defendant to be detained until next hearing
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - A hearing on whether or not to hold a Bossier Police sergeant until his trial date was held Thursday, Sept. 1.
Sgt. Harold “BJ” Sanford was arrested the last weekend of August after the FBI conducted a raid at the department’s headquarters.
The affidavit alleges Sanford, who is head of the Bossier City police union, is addicted to opioids and on three occasions obtained prescription drugs illegally from someone named Mitchell Morehead, who is also facing charges.
After the raid, during which agents searched Bossier City Police Local 645 of the International Union of Police Association for records related to Sanford’s role as president, the sergeant was immediately placed on administrative leave.
Sanford was arraigned Monday, Aug. 29.
At the hearing held Thursday afternoon, a judge decided to keep both Sandford and Morehead in custody until the next hearing, which is scheduled for Sept. 14 at 8:30 a.m.
The judge said Morehead was a flight risk. He also said he believed Sanford’s release could serve as a danger to the community and he could also potentially continue defrauding citizens.
FBI Special Agent Raquel Mobley took the stand to speak about the case brought against the men after receiving several tips that the two were involved in embezzling money from the Bossier City Police Union Fundraising account.
The FBI decided to move quickly on questioning them because they thought if the illegal drug transactions between the two men continued, it could serve as a public threat.
According to Mobley while on the stand, she said they knew Sanford was on a trip to Florida for a Union conference last week. She said they decided to move in on Morehead to see if he would cooperate with them. During their interaction with Morehead on Sunday, they asked if he would come down to their office. Morehead said he would and went up to his room at Crowne Plaza Inn in Bossier and allegedly called Sanford frantically to warn him.
The FBI also raided the Bossier Police Station with a warrant in hopes to obtain the union records before obstruction of justice could take place. This would help them get more information they needed about the embezzlement allegations.
Mobley said based on evidence, Sanford would pay Morehead with a check and he would cash that check and use it for personal use.
They also stated that Sanford’s intent for the drug transaction was to get them for his wife.
During Morehead’s trip to the FBI office, Sanford called him and warned him not to talk to anyone without a lawyer present.
During the hearing today, several witnesses very close to Sanford went to the stand to speak about how influential and helpful he was to the city of Bossier.
At the next hearing, the grand jury will come up with indictments and have an arraignment to move the case forward.
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