A New Orleans jury found a former special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration guilty on Tuesday, Aug. 27, of seven counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, and falsifying government records.
Federal prosecutors had alleged that Chad Scott, and two other members of a New Orleans drug task force, ran a corrupt operation from inside the DEA for years, shaking down drug dealers, and stealing money and property during drug busts. The conspiracy spans nearly a decade, fro 2009 to 2016.
Under civil asset forfeiture laws, police can seize property loosely connected to criminal activity, even if the owner is never charged or convicted of a crime. Opponents have for years argued this creates incentive for police to misuse their authority, while law enforcement organizations see it as a vital tool by targeting proceeds of illegal activity.
Scott’s targets weren’t limited to suspected drug dealers. Years before getting on the radar of federal prosecutors, Scott, who called himself “White Devil”, had his sights set on Rap-A-Lot Records, home of hip-hop group, Geto Boys. In the 1990s Scott and another DEA agent named Jack Schumacher were convinced the record label was a front for a trafficking network and went to work building cases against individuals associated with the label. Label head, J. Prince, was accused of being the mastermind behind a murder at a dice game in the 5th Ward. Lamar Burks, who was found guilty of the murder, maintained his innocence. No connection to Rap-A-Lot Records or J. Prince have been proven.
Scott and Schumacher’s dirty dealings are even referenced in Scarface album’s 2000 album, The Last of a Dying Breed.
Scott continued his harassment of the label and it’s members, Rap-a-Lot Records remained under investigation as by the DEA well into the 2000s. In 2017 two employees of the label said they were pulled over by Scott and other law enforcement officers. According to prosecutors, Scott and his team “remove[d] the occupants from the vehicle, place them in handcuffs, and stand them against a wall. Evidence indicates that [Scott] struck Mr. Simon and took a necklace from him.”
Scott is facing the possibility of decades in prison (the 2 counts of falsifying records and 3 counts of obstructing justice alone carry maximum sentences of 20 years each) He’ll know his fate on December 4 when U.S. District Judge Jane Milazzo will hand down his sentence.
In the meantime, Scott still faces charges on other federal charges. He goes to trial in October.