TPSO Makes Arrests
Edwards arrests three Sheriff’s Office Employees on allegations of misconduct and criminal activity.
AMITE, LA - (January 20, 2017) – Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards reports that six arrests were made yesterday as the result of a four- week long investigation involving three sheriff’s office employees linked to disturbing illegal bond activity.
An investigation began on December 27, 2016, as allegations of suspected illegal criminal bond activity. The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office (TPSO) partnered with the District Attorney’s Office delved deep into these allegations and discovered that alleged illegal bond activity was being conducted by several sheriff’s office employees. Over the course of the investigation, the accused were either terminated or put on administrative leave and were restricted from any and all of sheriff’s office property and equipment pending investigation.
As a result of the joint efforts from both agencies, Sheriff Edwards discovered that employees, Criminal Records supervisor Sgt. Sonja Dyson Evans, 55 of Kentwood, Latecial Milton, 50 of Roseland and 31 year old Crystal Knight of Amite, had indeed participated in illegal criminal bond activity.
Additionally arrested were 43 year old Racquelle D. Collins of Tickfaw, 63 year old Robert Smith of Roseland and 31 year old Kedrick Carlson of Hammond, LA for there participation and knowledge of illegal criminal bond activity. Smith and Carlson were arrested and charged with one count of Conspiracy for illegal consideration for criminal bail bonds and Collins was arrested on one count of Illegal consideration of illegal bail bonds.
Sonja Dyson Evans was charged with 15 counts consisting of Forgery, Injuring public records, and Malfeasance in office. Knight was charged with 19 offences to include Forgery, Injuring public records, Malfeasance and Illegal consideration of criminal bail bonds, and Milton was charged with one count of Malfeasance in office.
Due to the on-going investigation and to the sensitive nature of the allegations, limited details are available at this time. Future arrest and additional charges are expected to be forthcoming.
On December 13, 2016, Crystal Knight was terminated from the TPSO for unrelated issues. On Tuesday January 17, 2017, Sonya Dyson Evans resigned from the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office. As of yesterday, Milton, who was on administrative leave, was terminated and is no longer a part of the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Edwards states “no one is above the law”. "I will not allow for any employee who allegedly engages in criminal activity to tarnish the good character and dedication of the many great women and men who unselfishly serve the residents of Tangipahoa Parish with integrity and professionalism. By diligently, thoroughly, and professionally investigating all leads of misconduct is the only way we can protect the integrity of our good employees and maintain the public's trust," concluded Edwards.
Since the on-set of the investigation, the TPSO has implemented new policies and procedures for the process of criminal bail bonds, as has the Tangipahoa Parish Clerk’s Office. Additionally, the Criminal Records Unit is currently under new leadership.