Probe into weapons obtained by Caddo DA's investigators finds no violations

Published: Jul. 27, 2012 at 8:18 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2012 at 8:46 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The Louisiana Office of State Inspector General says it has found no violations by the Caddo Parish District Attorney's Office for obtaining 8 automatic weapons in April.

However, the letter sent to the DA's Office does criticize the manner in which the request was made, pointing out that there were inaccuracies and false information in the request. The Inspector General advised the Caddo DA's Office to consider appropriate measures to ensure the truthfulness and accuracy of all documents that leave the Caddo Parish DA's Office in the future.

"And we will do that. We cooperated with the Inspector General in every way," said DA Charles Scott.

The eight M16 automatic rifles were obtained by the Caddo Parish District Attorney's Office in April of 2012. The move raised concerns from the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office and questions as to why the DA's office needs the rifles.

The weapons came from a federal program that hands out surplus items from the Department of Defense to local law enforcement agencies.

Click here to see a copy of the agreement between the DoD and the DA's office.

In March, Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator said his office should have been notified about the weapons, adding that the DA's office can't even make arrests without his permission.

Caddo Parish District Attorney Charles Scott said the weapons were for his investigators because of the dangerous situations they may face when in the field.

A spokesperson for the Louisiana program that transferred the M16's to the DA's office said the weapons were not purchased, but are instead on loan. Because of that, the notification law did not apply.

The whole matter was turned over to Office of the State Inspector General, which released its findings Friday. While no violations of law were found, the investigation did find inaccuracies in the paperwork filled out by prosecutors who requested the 8 automatic weapons.

DA Charles Scott, however, does say he was not aware when he signed off on the paperwork that they were fully automatic. He says no disciplinary action has been taken at this time.

Copyright 2012 KSLA. All rights reserved.